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TELL US: How Will You Vote on Turf Field, Town Hall Projects at Town Meeting?

How would you spend Foxborough’s $1 million surplus from the high school’s renovation project?

Voters at Foxborough’s Town Meeting this fall are likely to be asked to approve funding of roughly $500,000 to help build a turf field complex for the community and OK a funding plan for construction of a new Town Hall.

But where’s the money coming from?

A $1 million surplus from Foxborough High School’s renovation project had been linked to partially funding either the new Town Hall or the turf field project, or both, but Foxborough’s Finance Director Randy Scollins told selectmen last week the surplus cannot be used on the turf field project because the funds can only be used for renovation projects.

To date, roughly $260,000 of the $3 million needed has been secured for the turf field project. Town Meeting voters will likely be asked to approve the School Committee’s request for an appropriation of $500,000 to assist in funding the project. The Turf’s Up committee has said it plans to raise an additional $250,000 to exceed the $1 million needed to begin construction on the turf field. The project, if approved, would be done in two phases, beginning with the construction of the field, lights and fencing. The second phase would be the construction of a track, bleachers and a concession stand.

As for the roughly $8 million Town Hall project, Scollins told selectmen the $1 million surplus could be used towards construction of a new Town Hall – something Town Manager Kevin Paicos recommended at last week’s meeting. Under the recommended funding plan for a new Town Hall, the $1 million surplus would be used in addition to $549,000 from the capital stabilization fund while borrowing $6.4 million..

While a date has not been set for Foxborough’s Special Town Meeting, Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis said the town has been looking at Dec. 11 as the most likely date.

So Foxborough, we want to know …

Today’s question: What would you like to see the $1 million surplus from the Foxborough High School renovation project spent on in town? And how do you plan to vote at Town Meeting on the turf field and new Town Hall projects? Let us know in the comments section below!

Bob O'Rourke October 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I am undecided on the turf field right now, The Kraft organization should be paying for that as part of the liquor license deal and a big “NO” for the town hall. The town should be renting space instead of building a new town hall. The bidding process for the Commonwealth of MA is a joke and is designed for the worst in the business to win the bids. There is ample rentable space in town to accommodate the town hall, providing a fixed costs with no repair or maintenance costs, (the town does minimal maintenance or repair to their buildings, They wait until the building needs to be replaced or completely rebuilt). The town is sitting on the old fire house (now being used to store snow removal equipment, where was it stored prior to this building became available?) when we were all told the building would be sold to cover the cost of the new town hall, (I don’t see a for sale sign out front). Renting seems like the best fit, everything is provided as part of the rental agreement, all maintenance, cleaning heat, electric, etc., a fixed cost for the life of the agreement. Here is an idea, move into the space the library is renting when the new library is completed…just an idea!
Steve C October 09, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Before borrowing money for any project a feasibility statement, with budget, should be available for public viewing. This should be in an itemized cost structure for all of the residents of Foxborough to view. The financial impact of these projects will effect our entire community. The turf field seems like a frivolous expense for a town that can not afford a new town hall. Borrowing money should be the last option and used as an avenue only in the event of community safety and well being.
tom murphy October 10, 2012 at 01:37 PM
If only there was a way to draw business and tax revenue to our small town!
Jack Martin October 10, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Foxborough has been faced with expensive Town Hall and Downtown Sewerage problems for many years. The Turf Field issue is insignificant when compared to either of these issues. After we resolve the Town Hall and Sewerage issues, we should consider "Why" the taxpayer should fund a Turf Field. If the consensus is positive, we will address funding. Personally, I'm troubled by (what appears to be) the primary justification: "..most other towns have a turf field, so we should have one too..". Baloney! We must chart our own course. If that includes a Turf Field, we'll build one. However, the idea that we should purchase toys in order to keep up with the neighbors is NONSENSE!
Dick Heydecker October 11, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Dick Heydecker We need a complete cost estimate, as well as the long term life expectancy and annual maintenance estimates before deciding. We know for the price quoted, we can build somewhere between 6 and 8 new grass fields on land similar to the proposal. And with the Burrell and Taylor schools waiting for repairs, the Sewer issue, and the $60 million OPEB (retired empl. medical obligation) where should we put our dollars today? And of course there is the New Taj Mahall without any full presentation looming as well. We need to get our WHOLE act together, and not just an item or two sneaked through a special Town Meeting!
Steve C October 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I have to say that I have to support Dick on this statement. We, as a tax paying community, need to know the full cost of living in this town and not just the cost to repair/replace an individual structure. Our town manager may have the authority to repair the town hall but he can not replace it without our support. Even if we could afford the new town hall, which I don't believe we can without raising taxes, we also need to know we will be able to keep up the new town hall. What will the effect be on our annual budget? What are the projected costs of upkeep and build out? If we are adding 4000 s.f. of additional space are we not adding to our operating cost? Are we hiring more personnel to fill this space? I have read repeatedly that the town has a surplus of property to be sold. Lets move the property and bring in the revenue before spending it. This brings us to the same question that Mitt Romney asked at the last debate. "Is this important enough that we need to borrow money from China to make it happen?" Substitute China with any entity you like but borrowing money at any level should be a last resort. The town of Foxborough owns and operates enough high profile property that a solid revenue stream should not be a major issue. Lets see the budget and action plan for upgrading the towns infrastructure before we make an commitments that our children will be paying for.
R. Hood October 15, 2012 at 08:43 PM
a) New 8mil Town Hall: Absolutely NOT! Bring other options to the table. b) New Turf Field At the HS: Absolutely Yes, and this coming from someone who's children have already grown. I don't know who's telling you that Foxboro is trying to keep up with the neighbors, but that assinine comment couldn't be further from the truth. Positives: An on-site mulit-purpose synthetic field that all HS sports teams, gym classes, as well as, youth town teams can use 12 months a year regardless of weather conditions. There is very little to no maintence associated with these types of fields. (Question: Should we coninue to send 2-3 buses to every HOME sporting event that's at the Ahern. Fuel cost, bus drivers saleries, etc...) There are many factors that determine a Town's desirability. A great academic school system, along with it's amenities, is one of those factors that can only enhance it's desirability. Negatives: There are none! The only problem is that this outside work should have been included in the HS's original repair cost. Then a portion of it would have been paid for.
Douglas Fuller November 02, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Kudos, The post office offers the best hope for a town hall. Sell the old firehouse or rent it to increase the town income.We do not want more debt ! Doug Fuller

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