Fox Town Hall 3-15-18

Foxboro Town Hall.

Local voters are expected to breeze through a relatively light agenda at next Monday’s special town meeting, mainly a housekeeping exercise to make minor budget adjustments and changes in town bylaws.

The Nov. 4 fall session, featuring a 12-item agenda, is scheduled to kick off 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Foxboro High School.

All 12 measures have been endorsed by the advisory committee, Town Manager William Keegan said Tuesday night.

Likely to attract the most attention — at least from the town’s elder community — is a measure that would authorize spending $40,000 to study the feasibility of expanding or constructing a new senior center.

Selectmen pledged to back the initiative last August, after a spirited crowd of local seniors enlisted the support of board members in pursuing a new, larger and possibly multi-generational facility.

In making their case, seniors said they envisioned a study that would explore a range of future options — from a larger, senior-only facility to a multi-generational hub incorporating recreation, healthy-living and learning programs for all ages.

Also on tap Monday night will be requests to close a pair of municipal budget shortfalls that have lingered since the annual town meeting last May

One item would restore all but $5,000 of a $26,500 in central administration salary expenses that voters whittled from the budget at that time. The second would transfer $56,700 from the town’s free cash account to purchase a new police cruiser.

In that case, voters did approve $170,000 to purchase three new cruisers, but narrowly withheld funding for a fourth. This measure seeks authorization to replace all four aging cruisers in the upcoming fiscal year.

Police Chief Michael Grace told selectmen last month that failing to provide the fourth cruiser was penny wise and pound foolish, and could put local officers at risk.

Other law enforcement-related items on Monday’s agenda include a request for $253,000 to fund a two-year contract extension with the local police union and authorization to remove the town’s deputy chief position from Civil Service.

Keegan in September said that an internal candidate had been identified for the position, which has gone unfilled since 2013, when former deputy John Chandler retired.

In addition, three related articles seek to provide a clearer regulatory framework for dog ownership and commercial boarding — as well as amending the definition of nuisance animals and establishing a series of fines for violations.

Voters also will be asked to extend an affordable housing trust originally established in 2013.

These trusts, allowed under state law, provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. Funding can be generated in a variety of ways, including by grants, municipal funds, payments in-lieu of the development of housing, and real estate development fees and related interest.

Lastly, voters will be asked to transfer $250,000 in unspent funds – in effect earmarking the money for future large-scale infrastructure projects – and accepting two newly constructed roadways as public ways: Montgomery Way off Cocasset Street and VanDoorn Avenue off Main Street.

Recommended for you