It's Decision Day for Funding of Attleboro Projects

The City Council will vote on borrowing money to build an animal shelter, improve the high school's athletic complex and upgrade a municipal water treatment facility's computer system.

The residents spoke last week, and tonight it will be the Attleboro City Council's opportunity to weigh in on Mayor Kevin Dumas' proposal for the city to borrow $6.2 million to fund three projects, including the building of an animal shelter and improvements to Attleboro High School's athletic complex.

More than 100 people came to the council chambers last week for the public hearing on the loan orders. Nearly all the speakers were in favor of the mayor's proposals, with the one exception being a man who was uneasy about the $1.16 million price tag for the animal shelter.

Several councilors have spoken in favor of the animal shelter and high school projects. Recent behind-the-scenes talk could mean there is at least some concern among councilors about the price of the animal shelter. There has been no buzz about opposition to the high school project for which the city would be acquiring a $3.55 million loan.

The computer system upgrade for the water treatment facility has not been a hot topic of conversation. Although it is a less-sexy project than the others, there is a large amount of money involved. The mayor wants the city to borrow $1.523 million to fund the upgrade.

The meeting will take place at City Hall (77 Park St.) at 7 p.m.

Attleboro Resident January 22, 2013 at 05:13 PM
First off, I do support both the Animal Shelter and the new high school complex. I was actually thinking the same thing regarding your comment that there has been such as large buzz around the animal shelter and going through the plans and wanting to remove rooms that they feel are not needed. Why isn't there the same scrutiny for the sports complex project that is about 3 times as much? I have even seen some people comment on the animal shelter, but when asked about their feelings about the sports complex they do not answer. Again, I support both projects, I just do not understand why the same people have not looked at the plans and asked the same questions about the school project. If people's reasonsing is wanting to look where we can save money, I think we should also be looking at the other projects that are up for vote also.
Roxanne Houghton January 22, 2013 at 05:29 PM
These two projects have been out there for the public to see for almost a year now. I have to wonder where the people with their suggestions and opposition have been. It is the day of the vote and people want to change plans - change the price - renovate old factories and on and on and on....where have you been? Did you speak at the public hearing? Did you attend the meeting at the High School regarding the track? Did you attend the building commission meetings? It would appear that you didnt. Did you put up a fuss when the money for the plans and designs were presented to the city? Why not? The vote is tonite and hopefully all this ridiculous last minute animosity will be over. The mayor has done his due diligence - everything suggested has been explored. In the future, I would hope that people pay attention to what is going on with city projects - before 4 days before they are scheduled to be voted on.
Roxanne Houghton January 22, 2013 at 05:32 PM
"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
paul January 22, 2013 at 06:04 PM
To whom it may concern: Unemployment in Attleboro & Seekonk has gone up. Federal taxes have just gone up and Deval Patrick has promised that state taxes will rise as well. The cost of all these projects will also go up as another year has passed. When your property taxes go up next year, I will say I told you so!
Just sayin' January 22, 2013 at 07:23 PM
In fairness Roxanne - how well was everything publicized compared to the stories written at the 11th hour? Lots of folks are working multiple part time jobs to make ends meet and rely on those who are in leadership positions to make the correct ethical decisions they were elected to make. It does not help to berate people who have questions and dissuade them from being part of the discussion. Why such anger towards a commenter who starts off the comment with "First off, I do support both the Animal Shelter and the new high school complex"??? If you are so passionate why not put this in a POSITIVE light instead of insulting those who want to be more educated about the situation... even if it is too late to make any changes? Why not bring others into the light instead of the back handed insults?
Roxanne Houghton January 22, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Both projects were highy publisized. Multiple front page stories in our local newspaper - a years worth of public meetings with the Building Commission - multiple committee meeting discussions at our televised city council meetings - the mayor spoke to this before the televised council meetings - multiple stories with pictures, money estimates, plans etc, on Patch. Many writings by the shelter volunteers in both Patch and the Sun. These projects were televised when the capital improvements were presented to the city. There was recently a big meeting - public - at the high school, regarding the track. Mayor Dumas announced his intention to persue these projects at his last inauguration. What else could have been done? Last Tuesday we had a very high profile public hearing. Nobody spoke against anything. To say that there was not enough exposure is confusing. My post above was not directed at anyone specifically. All of us in favor of these projects have tried to keep it positive. Maybe you have not read the ugly - nasty - false "stuff" that has been hurled at us. i will be happy when this vote is over.
Jerry Chase January 22, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Over a millions dollars for a dog park? Can't it be done decently for less?
Reason January 22, 2013 at 09:00 PM
It's over a million for the animal shelter. The dog park is funded by donations.
Jerry Chase January 22, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Thank you for this correction: it was my error. A million bucks is still one massive pile of money, though.
Just sayin' January 22, 2013 at 09:28 PM
No, it wasn't directed at anyone specifically. Just anyone who questions you?
Attleboro Resident January 22, 2013 at 09:32 PM
So, where is everyone's stance on the Attleboro High School complex project? In my original post I mentioned that only the dog park is being talked about as too much of a cost. Whats the feeling on the $3.5 million dollar price tag? Again I am for this project, I just wanted to gauge people's feelings if this could be cut down a little bit.
Roberta Collins January 22, 2013 at 09:41 PM
The dog park has been completed and it was done entirely with donations and volunteers to put up the fencing. Not one penny came from the city or taxes.
Roberta Collins January 22, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Attleboro Resident - I think that you have confused the dog park with the animal shelter. We are two entirely different organizations. I think that they have been talking about the cost of the animal shelter.
Attleboro Resident January 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Yeah, sorry I was reading other posts that said that and wrote that on accident. I definitely meant the Animal Shelter!
Dolly January 22, 2013 at 11:46 PM
There is $800,000. of debt service being retired this year. That's a loan of more than $10,000,000. These three projects if bonded for 12 years will total approximately less than $700,000. in debt service at current rates. However, rates may change within the time it takes to go to bond. Still, it's predicted that it will not be as high as the debt being retired. No increase in taxes due to THESE three projects. Taxes will always go up within the prop 2 1/2 % allowed.
George Glass January 23, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Are you sure you want to hear my opinion on the HIGH SCHOOL project? Alrighty.... I completely support the complex. IT is necessary for so many reasons that revolve around.. HUMANS!!!! Thousands of people (every Attleboro High student, children, the elderly, recreational sports teams, and most importantly Special Olympics) will will benefit from this project. Not to mention finally having handicap accessibility! Imagine that, my son will be on that field in one capacity or another in a few years and my disabled mother might actually be able to come and watch her grandson play! Unlike the shelter project that will cater to a handful of cats and dog (though very precious). The statement "Attleboro should be ashamed of the animal shelter" should be muted in comparison to the loud voices of the public who dare to dream of having a school complex that we can be proud of and show off to other schools that come to compete. The Students of Attleboro need to have something to be proud of. The schools are good on the inside, it is time for it to show on the outside!
Rob Geddes January 25, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I could be wrong, but I think the reason there has not been a lot of discussion about making cuts to the athletic complex is because there is not a lot there that can be cut. With the shelter, cuts can be made around things like space and amenities like you mentioned. (Whether or not those cuts should be made is a different story). The proposed athletic complex consists of the track, the field, and the bleachers. The track and the field have specific dimensions that need to be met, so there is no way to make cuts to either one. All that's left then are the bleachers and I would guess that the size reduction of the bleachers would have to be significant in order to make a worthwhile difference in the price tag. The only part of the athletic complex that would have any real cost cutting opportunity similar to what is being discussed for the animal schelter would be the concession stand, but that is being privately funded.
Jerry Chase February 08, 2013 at 02:35 AM
There remains the obligation on the part of residents to exert pressure on the "pols" to spend LESS money than before, NOT the same or more.


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