Grafton – The Grafton Inn, owned since 2000 by The Pardee Group, Inc., of Westborough, will soon be changing hands. The inn is now in the process of being purchased by James J. Hunter of Whitinsville.
The Pardee Group, with John Pardee of Westborough, as president, purchased the inn in 2000. In 2007 he leased it out but returned as operator in 2009. In 2013 he put the 12,000-square-foot bar, restaurant, and inn at 25 Grafton Common on the market for $925,000. Laurie C. Pardee is also listed as a director of the two-person Pardee Group.
At the Oct. 6 meeting of the Grafton Board of Selectmen, Hunter appeared to petition for a transfer of the Inn Holder’s License and Liquor License from the Pardee Group to him. After Town Administrator Timothy McInerney told the selectmen that Hunter’s license applications had been received and were in order, Hunter said that that any changes he might make to the inn and its offerings would be “slow and gradual.” Operating hours and the restaurant menu will, for the time being, remain as is, as he determines what customers prefer. He has been in the restaurant business, he said, for 30 years, with experience at such places as Hardee’s, Big Boy, Arby’s, Pier 4, the Chart House, Nantucket Seafoods, The Fire House Café’, and Romaine’s. One change he is planning is increasing the inn’s marketing efforts.
Board Chair Craig Dauphinais counseled Hunter that Grafton takes policing its liquor licenses “very seriously” and advised him that the town conducts “stings” to ensure liquor law compliance. As an open hearing, audience input was invited. Elias Hannah asked Hunter if inn renovations might occur. Hunter replied that he would be happy to meet with Hannah after the hearing. Hunter concluded his presentation by stating that one change he did plan for the immediate future was to expand the bar’s rather tight fit in the building to a greater size and more open area plan, but that this would have no impact on the building’s exterior.
After the hearing was closed, the Board voted 4-0 (with Dennis Flynn absent) to approve the license transfers and wished Hunter well on his business endeavor. The inn’s ownership is expected to occur within the next 30 days.
Built in 1805 across from the Town Common by Samuel Wood, and the oldest building at the Common, its size was doubled right after the Civil War, when the front porch was redesigned. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and included in the Grafton Common Historic District in 1988. It is commonly pictured on postcards and illustrations of Grafton and has been used as a backdrop television and movies.]]>
Marlborough – Mayor Arthur Vigeant and former Fire Chief Edward “Skee” Bigelow emerged successful in the preliminary election for mayor held Oct. 6, eliminating Paul Polewacyk and Erik Jewett. Vigeant received 1,274 votes and won all 14 precincts. Bigelow received 393 votes, followed by Polewaczyk with 374 votes and Jewett, 181 votes.
Finishing first in the councilor-at-large race was incumbent Mark Oram, receiving 1,155 votes, followed closely by Michael Ossing, with 1,145 votes. The remaining successful candidates whose names will appear on the Nov. 3 third biennial election ballot are: Katie Robey, 1,011 votes, former City Councilor Peter Juaire, 862 votes; former School Committee member Ken Vigeant, 791 votes; Maureen Brennan, 753 votes; Paul Brodeur, 515 votes, and James Jumonville, 285 votes. Eliminated from the nine-candidate race was Julia Lopez.
Domenic Valarioti topped the three-way race for the Assabet Valley Regional District School Committee with 712 votes followed by Peggy Ayres with 666 votes. Third candidate Mark Stukonis was eliminated from the contest, receiving 633 votes.
The new Senior Center was bustling with activity as it served for the first time as the polling location for five precincts. They included Ward 3, Precinct 1; Ward 4, Precincts 1 and 2; and Ward 5, Precincts 1 and 2.]]>
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Marlborough – City Councilors accepted an updated landscaping plan for the grounds of a proposed Taco Bell on Boston Post Road East and moved to approve the special permit filed by Charter Foods North to proceed with their plans to occupy the building in the Staples plaza, adjacent to Fanz Sports Grill.
In presenting the unanimous vote of the Urban Affairs Committee to the full council at the Oct. 5 council meeting Chair Joseph Delano reconfirmed that concerns over the potential noise and appearance of the grounds had been addressed.
“Our committee is assured that the entrance way to the city will look nice,” he said, emphasizing that the developer will add trees, shrubs, and more flowers to the area, as stated in the updated landscaping plan presented by representatives of RK Centers, who operate the plaza, and a representative of Charter Foods.
The approved permit for a drive-through at the location of a former Wendy’s restaurant includes hours of operation of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. During a public hearing held earlier this year residents in the area expressed concern over the potential noise coming from the speakers. Charter Foods representatives said speaker volume will be kept low during late night hours to avoid disturbance to neighbors.]]>
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Marlborough- The members of the city council held a special tribute during their Oct. 5 meeting in honor of the late Ward 2 City Councilor Robert “Bob” Page, as they recalled his outstanding service to the city. Council President Edward Clancy asked for a moment of silence to honor Page and commented to his wife, Elizabeth Ruane Page, and to all others present, how special Page had been as a city councilor and veteran’s advocate.
“He has left a void in our hearts and I will personally miss him for his organizational skills, his uplifting comments and his friendship,” said Clancy, who had placed at Page’s desk an American flag, his Vietnam War veteran hat, and a Disabled American Veterans’ flag.
Page served as Ward 2 City Councilor from 2002-2003 and from 2013 until his passing. He was a Vietnam veteran who served 20 years active duty in the United States Army. He was a member of the Marlborough Veterans Council, a lifetime member of ITAM Post 45, VFW of Marlborough, Post 638, where he served as junior vice commander and chaplain, and Salvatore Padula Chapter 82 Disabled American Veterans. He also served as coordinator for the city’s annual Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day parades for many years. Page died Sept. 29 of cancer.
Following the Page ceremony, Clancy introduced and welcomed Marlborough Police Sergeant Stephen Lupien who recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program, completing 10 weeks of advanced training. All stood and gave him a round of applause as Lupien, accompanied by Police Chief Mark Leonard, stood and graciously accepted the recognition.]]>
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Marlborough – Mayor Arthur Vigeant is asking the City Council to approve a tax-break agreement requested by OYO Sportstoys, Inc., which will allow moving its current operations and corporate headquarters from Acton to Marlborough and expand into a minimum of 65,000 square feet at 111 Locke Drive.
“This will result in 195 new jobs in the Marlborough and an approximate $8 million dollar investment in the existing site through combined soft, real property and personal property costs,” said the mayor in his communication to the council presented at the Oct. 5 meeting.
OYO Sportstoys is a manufacturing company, founded in 2011, that produces mini figure toys that resemble star athletes and their corresponding playing fields. The company currently has agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League along with their players associations to produce toys featuring their star players.
“Marlborough’s commercial activity has rebounded much quicker than the rest of the Route 495 belt and OYO Sportstoys is another example of a company choosing to invest in Marlborough,” said the mayor. “In this instance, the company is committing $8 million dollars over a 10 year period to renovate the facility. Beyond bringing 195 new jobs to the city, the project also figures to add an additional $462,626 of new tax dollars to Marlborough over the course of the agreement.
“OYO Sportstoys chose Marlborough due to our access to a well-educated workforce with a high degree of knowledge within the advanced manufacturing sector and our transportation access. It is an affirmation of Marlborough and a credit to you that we are able to attract another successful job creator,” he added.
Earlier this year the City Council granted a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement with Hologic, a major developer, manufacturer and supplier of diagnostic equipment, surgical products, and medical imaging systems. The action allowed Hologic to move its Bedford operations to Marlborough, adding 150 employees to its workforce already in the city – at 250 Campus Drive and Simarano Drive.
In August, the council approved a TIF agreement with LFB Corporation, a leading pharmaceutical company, for the construction of a new 65,000-square-foot facility on Crowley Drive.
The OYO Sportstoys’ request was referred to the Finance Committee for study and recommendation to the full council.]]>