Stoughtons's two State Representatives, William C. Galvin (D-Canton) and Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton), joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in passing legislation that provides funding for improvements to the state’s transportation system, including $275,000 for Stoughton-specific projects, according to a .
This legislation, the release states, includes $100,000 for a traffic study of to "come up with creative ways to alleviate traffic congestion and improve traveler safety in the area."
A second amendment, successfully sponsored by Representatives Galvin and Kafka, provides a $175,000 matching grant to put towards purchase and/or refurbishment of the Stoughton MBTA station, which was recently put up for sale by the MBTA.
“This bill is essentially about public safety by ensuring that our community’s infrastructure is in good condition. I am pleased that this money will help improve safety and create constructionjobs across the Commonwealth," .
“I’m pleased with the projects we were able to include in the bill; the Stoughton Train Station belongs under the control of the town and we’re committed as a legislative delegation to makingthat a reality,” .
The issue of the train station is something Interim Town Manager Joseph Feaster discussed with Selectmen at their June 19 meeting.
In an interview on June 21, Feaster voiced displeasure that he found a for sale sign on the train station on Wyman Street, but said Stoughton's State House delegation had helped to put a hold on any potential sale of the property, which also includes 30 parking spaces.
"It's a linchpin for the downtown area," Feaster said of the train station.
He said it was "strategic" for the town to have control of the site.
"Once you lose control of the site," Feaster said, "the issue inhibits us [in terms of plans for the downtown]."
Feaster said the MBTA wants $350,000 for the property. Past discussions of acquiring or leasing the property from the MBTA have not materialized.
Feaster said the station was built in 1888 (it's on the ) and was renovated in 1988 at the cost of $1 million, thanks to funding from a foundation.
He said the in the quarter-century since, and therefore felt the town should get the station for a "nominal amount."
Even if the town potentially acquires the building, it is going to cost a substantial amount to make it usable again, Feaster said.
But, this transportation bill passed by the House appears to give Stoughton the opportunity to acquire the property and not lose control of a key piece in the downtown puzzle to an outside party.
This bill will now go before the Senate and the Governor for approval, according to the release from Galvin's office.
Information from a press release from the Office of Representative William C. Galvin was used in this report.