Week in Review: Paying More for Brown Water, Crash on Mechanic Street, Jake n JOES Update & More
A recap of this week's headlines from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1.
Miss anything in Foxborough this week? Here's your chance to sit back and catch up on some Patch. Below is a recap of this week’s biggest headlines on Foxborough Patch:
A two-vehicle accident in front of Cumberland Farms on Mechanic Street Friday night was as close to a head-on collision as you can get, but thankfully, only one of the drivers sustained minor injury, according to Foxborough Fire Captain David Healy.
“One [minor injury] to a female driver,” Healy said. “She was taken to Norwood Hospital.”
The accident occurred around 8 p.m. and temporarily closed a small section of Mechanic Street while police and fire awaited the arrival of tow trucks to clear the vehicles from the scene.
Residents fed up with paying for poor water quality will find no silver lining in the Foxborough Water & Sewer Commissioners’ decision to hike water & sewer rates Monday.
That’s because the rate increases, which take effect immediately, will not bring any immediate relief to residents experiencing brown water in town. Instead, the newly approved hikes are said to be long overdue and necessary because the town’s enterprise account currently isn’t bringing in enough revenue to cover costs.
DPW Director Roger Hill said while the water and sewer rates vary based on use; the best indicator of cost for average homeowners and businesses is the minimum rate. For water, that rate was $53.52 per quarter year for 750 cubic feet (5,600 gallons) or less before Monday’s 6 percent increase. The new minimum water rate, according to Hill, will be $56.73 per quarter. For sewer, the rate was $53.82 per quarter year for 750 cubic feet (5,600 gallons) or less before Monday’s 7.5 percent increase. Hill says the new minimum sewer rate will be $57.86 per quarter.
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As if hikes in water and sewer rates and brown water problems weren't enough, Foxborough residents along Chestnut Street had to deal with a water main break Wednesday evening.
A water main on just past the Putnam Village leasing office and before the stop sign at Cocasset Street broke shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday, leaving some residents in the area without water.
"There [was] a water main break on Chestnut Street and as a result there’s an interruption in the water pressure," Mayfair Realty said on its _Facebook page_.
The local company warned residents of their communities to expect discolored water as a result of the break. Mayfair President and co-owner Kevin Weinfeld - along with Mayfair vice president of operations Rich Feeley - attended Monday's water & sewer rate hearing to vent their frustrations regarding the town's poor water quality, especially in the area of three of their apartment complexes.
Mayfair reported the water main break should not affect the Pine Tree Gardens residents on Chestnut Street near Mechanic Street and the Water Department expected to have the break fixed "within a couple of hours."
Renovations at Jake n JOES’ 25 Foxboro Blvd. location may have taken longer than expected but the good news for many anxious customers is the sports grille will be open for business within two weeks.
It was rumored by some Jake n JOES’ Facebook fans that the sports grille would be opening its Foxborough location in time for Super Bowl Sunday but Amy S. Riordan, director of sales & marketing for Chateau Restaurants, set the record straight Thursday.
“We will not be open for the Super Bowl,” Riordan said. “However, it is within the next two weeks for sure.”
Facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly holding people “unlawfully” in protective custody during Gillette Stadium events, the town reached out to its largest business partner for assistance.
Foxborough, through attorney John Davis of Pierce, Davis & Perritano, LLP, reached out to the Kraft Group in November to ask if the company would be indemnifying the town in the Weldner/Dutton lawsuit against Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary and the town of Foxborough.
The Kraft Group informed the town in a letter addressed to Davis on Dec. 27 that it would not be indemnifying the town in the class action lawsuit because, according to the indemnification agreement between the town and NPS (Gillette Stadium), the Kraft Group is not required to indemnify the town in a lawsuit with claims involving “negligence, gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
The Weldner/Dutton lawsuit alleges negligence on behalf of the town and Chief O’Leary, which, according to Kraft Group attorney James Cobery’s letter to the town, removes the company from legal obligation to defend or indemnify the town.
Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair disagrees, citing the town has not yet received any information that would suggest or prove Foxborough police acted in negligence during stadium events.
While the Kraft Group, citing the negligence exception in the indemnification agreement, denied the town’s request to indemnify them in the Weldner/Dutton lawsuit, the company has offered to provide Foxborough with legal representation to defend the town and Chief O’Leary as well as cover costs of the attorney.
While reviewing the town’s assets, Foxborough officials discovered a threatened species living in the wetlands of the former Camp Lincoln Hill property on Oak Street.
The white marbled salamander was found in a vernal pool on the Oak Street property during a site assessment by the town’s Asset Review Committee.
“Very exciting,” said selectman Lorraine Brue, who also serves on the town’s Asset Review Committee. [We] walked down to the wetlands and the salamanders were swimming around [in the vernal pool there].”
Foxborough Town Manager Kevin Paicos said the finding of the salamanders “is a huge event” because there are only 75 towns in the state that have registered vernal pools with that species present.
“That is a fairly big deal,” Paicos said.
Brue says the property’s wetlands and discovery of the salamanders will have to be taken into consideration by potential developers before purchasing the property.
The town’s Conservation Commission opposes the sale of the Oak Street property altogether, but, according to Brue, the decision will ultimately come down to a Town Meeting vote, which is required for the sale of the Oak Street lots.
Paicos told selectmen he’s hoping to work out a compromise with the Conservation Commission regarding the property for “the good of the town.”
With the first week to pull nomination papers in the books, 11 Foxborough residents have expressed interest in running for seven of the 14 open town positions in May’s annual election.
Most notably, two potential candidates for the two Board of Selectmen seats have emerged and neither one – to this point – are current members James DeVellis or Lynda Walsh.
Richard R. Letson of East Street and John R. Gray Jr. of North High Street each pulled papers for selectmen seats last week.
The Foxborough High School baseball team has turned to a former captain and team MVP to coach the Warriors in 2013.
FHS Athletic Director Caitlin Brown has named Chris Sullivan head coach of the baseball program, replacing Bill Sittig, who announced in December he would not be returning for his third season.
Sullivan has a lengthy and impressive baseball resume both as a player and a coach. The longtime RBI Baseball Academy employee most recently coached the RBI Hawks 15U team.
While many Patriots fans are spending Super Bowl week disappointed the team won’t be taking the field Sunday in New Orleans, some are in higher spirits after receiving an unexpected message from the face of the franchise.
Season ticket holders were surprised this week with a recorded phone message from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady thanking them for their support this season.
Monday night’s School Committee meeting opened with a performance based Teaching and Learning Highlight featuring one of Foxborough High School's A Cappella choirs led by Mr. David Piper.
Described by Foxborough Schools Superintendent Debra Spinelli as “famously talented,” the Mixed A Cappella choir consists of members ranging in age from freshmen to seniors and includes both boys and girls. The ensemble meets prior to the start of their school day at 6:45 a.m. twice a week to perform popular music ranging from doo-wop to contemporary radio hits.
As the community keeps watch on the Plainridge racino proposal in neighboring Plainville, Foxborough officials remain proactive in protecting the town as an abutter to the potential slot machine parlor.
Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis doesn’t want the town to be left out of any discussions involving Plainridge abutters so he has brought that discussion to Town Hall.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to meet with Foxborough’s Board of Selectmen on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the town’s options and rights as an abutter to the Plainridge proposal.
Winless in their last six games, the Foxborough High School hockey team was determined to end the losing Monday night in a non-league contest against visiting East Boston.
The Warriors were aggressive from the opening face-off, creating countless scoring chances and controlling the puck for the majority of three periods.
Their hard work was rewarded by two Aidan Hyland goals and a perfect night in net by FHS goalie Melissa Almeida enroute to a 2-0 victory over the Jets at the Foxboro Sports Center.
The district report card is a first of its kind that provides an overview of the town’s schools, which was created as part of Foxborough’s Strategic Plan approved by the Foxborough School Committee in May 2011.
Check out these vintage photos of the town of Foxborough currently for sale on eBay.