Foxborough Town Manager Kevin Paicos informed the Board of Selectmen at Tuesday’s meeting the post office building on Wall Street looks to be a “very promising” option for a new Town Hall.
“We had the walk through and it was very promising,” Paicos said, referring to a recent tour of the post office he and other town officials participated in. … “We had a very productive meeting and for the first time I think I saw a lot of people coming together around this Town Hall concept and that’s real promising so I’d like to keep that momentum moving.”
In addition to Paicos, Building Commissioner Bill Casbarra, Foxborough resident Dick Heydecker, members of the Board of Selectmen, Building Committee and Advisory Committee participated in the Post Office tour.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm,” Paicos said.
Paicos said since the tour, Heydecker has volunteered his services to assist the town in taking a closer look at the post office as an option for Town Hall.
“[Heydecker] had some very intriguing ideas that I find really intriguing,” Paicos said. “He offered to do some work that would be helpful to us. I told him by all means and would love to have any help on this. … I would like to sit down with the Building Committee and Dick [Heydecker] and get together and take advantage of any citizen help we can get.”
Paicos said he hopes the post office option will bring groups together to work on a new Town Hall concept.
“We’ve had a lot of division on this thing and I’d really like to see if we can bring the parties together and work together for a change,” Paicos said. “I think the Post Office gives us a real opportunity.”
For the post office to become a viable option, however, it must first be put on the market, find a local storefront for postal service and secure a location for letter carriers and trucks.
“Post office is not an option yet,” Paicos cautioned. “At this point, up until the last few weeks, the Post Office has indicated they were not necessarily selling the building and they weren’t inviting us to tour it and we weren’t considering it as an option.”
That all changed a few weeks ago, according to Paicos, when the town received an invitation to see the building.
“Now [the post office] is back on the table as an option,” Paicos said. “We are going to take a look at the building, have the architect figure out what the cost would be to rehab the building. It needs some repairs and some major renovations that will make it suitable for an office building.”
The next step, according to Paicos, will be preparing a warrant article for a future town meeting, which could happen as soon as January or February because of the timeframe for the Sewer Municipal Agreement with Mansfield and Norton. Paicos said he and Chief Financial Officer Randy Scollins recently looked at the Town Hall warrant article - Article 5 - for December’s warrant to see if they could include the post office option.
“Randy took a look to see if we could use [December’s] warrant article to try and get an appropriation to do the architectural and structural studies on the post office because that looks very promising,” Paicos said. “It was determined the post office situation is outside of what the current warrant article states and we couldn’t really morph the article to another location.”
Paicos said for the post office option to move forward the town will need to appropriate roughly $50,000 for structural and concrete studies.
“We are going to need some money for that,” Paicos said.
Earlier this month, the Advisory Committee and Board of Selectmen each voted to recommend no action on Article 5 at the Dec. 11 Special Town Meeting, which will be held in the auditorium of Foxborough High School at 7:30 p.m.