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AdCom’s Recommendations for Tuesday’s Special Town Meeting

Here’s an overview of the warrant articles on Foxborough's Special Town Meeting warrant and the article-by-article recommendations the Advisory Committee is expected to make Tuesday.

In advance of Tuesday’s Special Town Meeting at Foxborough High School, the town’s Advisory Committee has taken positions on each of the warrant’s 13 articles.

Of the 13 articles on the warrant, AdCom will recommend approval on seven, no action on three and disapproval on three, including Article 6, the community turf field project.

Below is a summary of AdCom’s recommendations for Special Town Meeting, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Foxborough High School on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

To view the Special Town Meeting warrant, click here.

ARTICLE VOTE SUMMARY ARTICLE 1: Fire Contract 12-0-0 (Approval)
Summary will be available at Special Town Meeting. ARTICLE 2: Police Contract 10-0-0
(No Action) There is currently no signed contract. ARTICLE 3: Highway and Water Contract 10-0-0 (Approved)

This article proposes funding for the collective bargaining agreement recently negotiated by and between the Town of Foxborough and the Foxborough Highway and Water Employees Union
for Fiscal Year 2013.

The proposed agreement would cover the period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, and add $25,644 in additional cost to the FY13 budget.

Of note:

1. Article IV (Compensation): The salary schedule will increase 1% after July 1, 2012, and
by 1% after January 1, 2013, adding $21,617 in additional cost to the Fiscal Year 2013
budget. This proposed adjustment is in line with the policy direction from the Board of
Selectmen and consistent with other local communities.

2. Article III Section E: This is an acknowledgement by the Highway and Water Employees
Union that the Town can change its health insurance plan under the Massachusetts Health
Insurance Reform Statute. This change supports the Town’s goal to reduce its healthcare
costs and brings this union in line with similar provisions for other Town employees. It is
difficult to project the total savings from this change (since the new healthcare program is
still under discussion), but the savings are estimated to be about $400 (single) and $1,000
(family) per policy.

3. The proposal also contains $4,027 in miscellaneous FY13 increases such as: (a) increase
in employee reimbursement for work boots/safety shoes from $300 to $450 per fiscal
year; (b) $50 stipend increase for the Welder Certification holder; (c) $50 stipend
increase for the three Pesticide Applicator License holders; (d) maximum reimbursement
for broken prescription eyewear will be increased from $75 to $175; (e) Backhoe license
stipend increase from $14 to $20 per week; (f) Backflow license stipend increase from
$19 to $20 per week; (g) stand-by pay increase from $70 to $100 weekly; (h) adjustment
of summer working hours (earlier start for cooler temperatures) and clarification of times;
and (g) substituting the Town Manager for grievance proceedings.

ARTICLE 4: Unpaid Water Bill 11-0-0 (Approval)

The Advisory Committee voted to recommend approval of this article to fund an unpaid water
bill from the Town of Mansfield in the amount of $12,235.21. The amount requested will cover
water charges only and not any accrued interest or late fees.

Background: The Town of Mansfield provides water to a small number of Foxboro homes
located near the Mansfield water line and bills the Town of Foxboro accordingly.

The Town of Foxboro did not receive its 2011 water bill from the Town of Mansfield until 2012. This water bill is a legitimate expense incurred by the Town of Mansfield on behalf of the Town of Foxboro, but because it was received after the closing of the prior fiscal year, it will require
special town approval to get it paid.

ARTICLE 5: Town Hall 10-0-0
(No Action) The Board of Selectmen requested that we move No Action on this article after a detailed
analysis of the proposed funding mechanism revealed s shortfall several years out. ARTICLE 6: Artificial Turf Field 3-9-0 (Disapproval)

If approved by Town Meeting, this article will allow $125,000 from Overlay Surplus to be
appropriated for the construction of an artificial turf field at the High School.

Additionally, approval of this article will indicate approval of the spending of funds from the following funding sources:

  • TurfsUp NFL Grant $ 200,000
  • TurfsUp Community Fund Raising $ 60,000
  • Tree Tech Tree Removal Donation $ 20,000
  • TurfsUp Engineering Donation $ 139,000
  • High School Renovation Bond Proceed
  • Balance $1,000,000
  • School Department Building use Revolver $75,000

The field would be built at the high school in the area where the Baseball and Softball fields are
currently. These two fields would be reconstructed in an area behind the School.

In addition, lighting and a community-donated scoreboard would be constructed at the turf field.
The School Committee has indicated that this is phase I of a two phase project.

Phase two, which would cost an additional $1.8 million, (appropriated in the future) would fund the construction of bleachers, an 8 lane track, a press box, concession stands and bathrooms.

The advisory committee believes that this project is too expensive given that we have recently
passed a number of expensive debt exclusion articles.

In addition we know that we have a number of large capital articles coming up in the near future including the Burrell School renovation and a replacement or renovation of Town Hall. We believe that the $1,000,000 left over from the High School renovation project would be better spent on whichever of these projects comes forward first.

ARTICLE 7: Organ Donor 0-11-1 (Disapproval)

The purpose of this article is to see if the Town will vote to accept the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 149, section 33E, which allows an employee of the commonwealth or of a county, or of a city or town that accepts this section, may take a leave of absence of not more than 30 days in a calendar year to serve as an organ donor, without loss of or reduction in pay, with loss of leave to which he is otherwise entitled and without loss of credit for time or service; or take any other action relative thereto.

After careful consideration and discussion, the Advisory Committee recommends not approving
this Article for a number of reasons including the lack of clarity around the definition of an organ
within the Massachusetts General Laws, the availability of other resources to be used by town
employees when such a situation occurs (personal sick time, time-off pools, employment contracts, etc.) and the question of fairness between town and privately-employed town residents, many of whom are not provided with a similar benefit by their employer.

ARTICLE 8: Water and Sewer Employees 12-0-0 (Approval)

The goal of this Article is to allow the Town Manager to oversee directly the water and sewer
department employees, helping to establish a “Department of Public Works” in the Town of
Foxboro. (Currently the Water and Sewer Commission has authority over these employees.)

This change is unanimously supported by the Town Manager, Board of Selectmen and the Water and Sewer Commission.

Procedurally, this Article is a little different from other Articles in the Warrant because this
change requires an amendment to the Town Manager Act. Amendments like this can only be
done by a vote of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives. Consequently, a vote
in favor of this Article does not create a bylaw, but rather authorizes the Board of Selectmen to petition the State to adopt this legislation on behalf of the Town of Foxboro.

ARTICLE 9: DISABILITY COMMISSION 0-11-1 (Disapproval)

Currently the Town has a disability committee to advise the Town, its elected officials and other committees and departments on matters effecting residents with disabilities and how such town officials, committees and departments may want to consider such resident’s disabilities when undertaking projects, setting policy and making other decisions that may impact residents with
disabilities.

Since the Town already has an active disability committee in place today and adopting the
proposed Massachusetts General Law would expand the powers of this new commission by
accepting and managing gifts of real estate and other assets, the Advisory Committee determined it would not be in the best interest of the Town to adopt this Massachusetts General Law without first completely understanding the rights and powers of this commission.

Since the the Advisory Committee had only a very short period of time to explore all the details of this proposal or to meet with the committee members, the Advisory Committee determined that adopting this Article was not in the best interest of the Town at this time.

ARTICLE 10: TIER I ASSESSMENT 11-0-0 (Approval)

This Article asks Town Meeting to appropriate the funds to do a study to see if there is any
contamination on the property on Market Street at what was the Keating Funeral Home.

The property came into the towns possession some time ago for failure to pay taxes and abuts the old Fire House property both of which we would like to sell.

Knowing if there is any contamination on the property is important because it could put a potential buyers mind at ease or if there is
contamination give the Town the opportunity to clean it up and limit future liability.

ARTICLE 11: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS
11-0-0 (Approval)

This is a housekeeping article. The section of the Zoning By-Laws referenced in this article
contains a sentence that reads - “The Board of Appeals shall not have authority to authorize a use variance except as provided for in Section 3.4 of these by-laws”.

There is no section 3.4 in the zoning by-laws and if this article is accepted the sentence would be modified to read - “The Board of Appeals shall not have authority to authorize a use variance.”

ARTICLE 12: AMEND ZONING BY-LAWS 11-0-0 (Approval) Norfolk County has redone the flood plain maps and designations. In order for businesses and
residents within the Flood Plain Overlay District to be able to continue to buy flood insurance we
need to modify our definitions. This Article would implement that change. ARTICLE 13: MUNICPAL HOUSING TRUST 11-0-0
(No Action) After discussing this article with members of the Planning Board and the Town Planner it was
agreed that more information was needed. For that reason we recommend no action and we
expect that this article will be brought forward at a future Town Meeting.

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