Looking to improve Foxborough’s revenue stream, the town’s Asset Review Committee presented to selectmen five parcels that if sold would generate the town at least $1.68 million.
However, it is unclear if one of those properties – the old Camp Lincoln Hill property on Oak Street - can be sold because it is home to white marbled salamanders, a threatened species and is said to have been purchased by the town with the purpose of open space and recreation.
Because of this, the town’s Conservation Commission has said it opposes the sale of this land.
In addition to those five parcels is another one the Asset Review Committee has targeted for potential sale – the former Foxborough State Hospital auditorium on Payson Road.
“We would have to go for special legislation to request approval to sell this property,” said Town Asset Review Committee chair Lorraine Brue, who also serves as a selectman. “Again, within our group, the discussion is such that there would be definite interest by a developer for that property so we did want to pursue that.”
The property is currently conditioned by the state for recreational use only and would take special legislation to change that stipulation.
The town’s planning board and board of recreation have had discussions about the cost of rehabilitating the auditorium for recreational use but that option "would cost an extensive amount of money," according to planning board members.
In August, Foxborough Patch asked readers what they would like to see replace the former auditorium and the two most popular responses were a children’s museum or a new Town Hall.
However, resident Pat Heydecker said she and her husband, Dick, studied the building “thoroughly” for use as a town hall and did not find the space to be a fit.
“There is no way that we can use it for that type of purpose,” Heydecker said. “Too much wasted space and not coherent functions.”
Town Manager Kevin Paicos said an auction for the Payson Road property would likely be separate from the auction of the other properties because the former auditorium will take special legislation and a Town Meeting vote to sell.
To read more about the properties recommended for sale, click here.