Multi-Use Million Dollars

The Reporter this week on P. 1, highlighted plans in two different columns to spend the same  surplus HS renovation money; the NEW Town Hall as well as the new TURF field. If we can do this why not just add two more projects to this list, the Burrell and Taylor school projects. And lets not forget the $60 million OPEB (the retired employee medical benefit) liability!

I have highlighted the abuse of this so-called HS renovation surplus since the Chair stated in his minutes a $6 million "surplus" after the bids were received as opposed to an original $1 + million!  This prompted the spending by the School Comm. on wish list items for the HS. They claim this is their sole perogative, and it is rubber-stamped by the Bldg. Comm.  Please recall that the program presented on two occasions included brochures itemizing each and every item requested for X dollars. And lets not forget that the State approved the project based on the original program and bidding documents. This approval included support funding for these items alone. One Comm. Member stated that the State is reneging on this funding. REMINDER, they never authorized the additional work! And another said this funding is to be used for the building. In spite of specific work itemized to be done, and completed, they feel any other funds can be used by them alone as they see fit!

But our Town Meeting authorization form of government is ignored and unauthorized purchases made. We did this for the Commuter Parking Lot, and I am informed we have hired an architect to do work at the Highway garage. There has been NO Town Meeting action on these issues. And we are now told that we can use this million dollars to by-pass a debt exclusion and 2/3 vote of Town Meeting,  just a simple majority. This smoke screen is more than devious; they cannot get an $8 million project approved when the options are more cost-effective, in spite of the apocalyptic pronouncements of the manager.

Dick Heydecker, 508-543-9412


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Dick Heydecker October 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Steve, you should ask Scollins, as he is quoted in the press making this exclusion statement. My understanding concerns short term borrowing as avoiding this. Their original funding was nearly all cash; this includes more borrowing. Thei budget includes some moving and rental numbers. They wish to avoid any major taxpayer involvement, the small specisl TM and no ballot or 2/3rds vote!.
Steve October 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Obviously they want to avoid any taxpayer involvement, it has become abundantly clear that the taxpayers (those that will be funding this project) do not agree that a new town hall is needed, at least not now. I now here that they are going to tie the turf field in with the town hall project in a "both in or both out" vote.....this is a slimy way to move this project but i guess it should be expected. If their proposal is not good enough to stand on it's own then they should rethink their proposal. If they do link these two projects then they BOTH will fail and all of the NFL money for the turf field will dissapear. The leaders of the Turfs Up project better think long and hard before they let Randy hitch his wagon to their project.
Ken B. October 05, 2012 at 11:46 PM
This $1 mill "surplus" is part of a debt exclusion override for the HS renovation. The SC may be able to legally use it for the turf field. My question is, Is there a way this money can legally be used for TH without either a TM or new ballot override vote ? I'm thinking not, but.....
Dick Heydecker October 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
The debt exclusion and Town Meeting action was based on a specific program of needs. These needs are confirmed and also approved by the state for reimbursement; they are refusing "reneging" per the SC on additional funding for the unapproved work. We should do the same. Merely read the by-law on the building comm. authority, and the State's definition of a permanent BC to see that the SC has no authority on their own to do any increase in work and the BC only rubber stamps their action!. We have been snookered into spending several million beyond the initial "AUTHORIZATION VOTE" for some wish list items such as new parking, locker rms, add'l ceramic tile, some 300,000! etc. and now they want a track, more parking, bleachers, fencing, lights etc. with the remaining "surplus" and the "Turf"!
Steve C October 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
The upgrade to Foxborough's infrastructure should be brought in to this equation on a much larger level. There is more than a Town Hall and Turf field needed in this town. Has any thought towards upgrading the center of town been proposed, formally. If the town to engage in business development and infrastructure upgrades we could produce long term financial gains for the town and decrease our need to borrow money for future capital projects. The turf field is a luxury project and should not even be considered as long as our town hall continues to deteriorate and our center takes on the look of a ghost town.


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