The town, through the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority, intends to purchase the historic Stoughton Train Station from the MBTA and then, if possible, sell it or lease it to a third party, Selectmen chair John Stagnone said.
The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to formally express the town's interest in acquiring the property, which includes 30 adjacent parking spaces.
Selectmen voted to direct Interim Town Manager Joseph Feaster to inform Transit Realty Associates (representing the MBTA) that the town intends to acquire the train station and the negotiations will be done through the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority.
The Redevelopment Authority is a separate entity from the town and can negotiate and make a purchase of this nature without going through Town Meeting for approval.
A $1.5 billion state transportation bond bill signed in August of this year included $175,000 in matching grant funds to the Town of Stoughton for the purpose of purchasing the old MBTA Stoughton Railroad Station on Wyman Street. The bill also gave Stoughton the right of first refusal to the property, which dates back to 1888.
Stoughton's State House Delegation - Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton) and Representatives Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) and William C. Galvin (D-Canton) stepped in to give Stoughton this option of first refusal after the MBTA put the property up for sale.
According to a release from Senator Joyce's office:
The bill kept language directing the MBTA to convey the 6,100 square foot property, including 30 adjacent parking spaces, to the town for “fair market value.”
It also provides $175,000 in matching funds to help the town purchase the property and allows the town to pay off the purchase over ten years with no interest.
Selectmen Stagnone, John Anzivino, Steve Anastos and Bob O'Regan all voted in favor of the motion Tuesday night. Selectman Cynthia Walsh was the lone dissenting vote.
"I really don't foresee a market for that building," Walsh said, adding that she thought the town was acquiring another property like the Armory building on Pleasant St.
At a public hearing in September the consensus from speakers was that they wanted to have the town control the fate of the property, which is seen as a key piece in any downtown revitalization talks.
The intent for the town, through the Redevelopment Authority, is to acquire the property and then sell or lease it to a third party. If not successful in the resale efforts, the town can discuss drafting a Town Meeting article and obtaining the building from the Redevelopment Authority, selectmen discussed at the Tuesday meeting.