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Stoughton Gets $175K Towards Possible Purchase of Train Station in State's Transportation Bond Bill

Stoughton transportation improvements approved by Governor Patrick in the state's Transportation Bond Bill. The final bill signed by the governor contains train station aid and funding for two additional projects in town.

If the town decides to purchase the , which has recently been put up for sale by the MBTA, it will receive some financial assistance from the state.

Governor Deval Patrick signed the $1.5 billion transportation bond bill on Thursday, August 9, which funds a variety of road, bridge and rail projects across the state.

This includes $175,000 in matching grant funds to the Town of Stoughton for the , if the town decides it would like to retain control of the property.

In essence, the bill gives Stoughton the right of first refusal for the 6,100-square foot property, which also includes 30 adjacent parking spaces.

Also included in this transportation bond bill is $500,000 for signalization improvements at the intersection of Ethyl Way,  Erin Road, and Central Street in Stoughton, including, but not limited to, installation of a traffic light and improvements to the roadway and sidewalks.

And, $100,000 will go towards a study of possible traffic improvements for Stoughton Center.

The following press release from the office of Senator Brian A. Joyce explains in more detail:

The governor has signed H.4371, the Transportation Bond Bill, to authorize numerous transportation and infrastructure improvement projects across the Commonwealth, including projects for Stoughton. The Massachusetts Senate and House passed the legislation which included measures sponsored by Senator Brian A. Joyce and Representatives Bill Galvin and Lou Kafka.

The central part of the deal revolves around the old MBTA Train Station. 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.

“I’m happy to see that the governor kept the compromise language we developed regarding the train station,” said Joyce (D-Milton). “Once we were able to press pause on the private sale of the property, we were able to focus on giving the town the most significant voice in how the station fits into the future economic vitality of the surrounding area and the entire town.”

"I was pleased to see that our House amendment was kept by the governor," added Rep. Galvin (D-Canton). "These provisions are great for Stoughton and will provide the town with options on how the area is developed."

“Working as a delegation, there’s a lot that Bill, Brian, and I were able to accomplish in this legislation,” said Rep. Kafka (D-Stoughton). ”The town now has options regarding the future and control of the train station. There’s $100,000 to help pay for the master plan. And, in light of the recent spate of accidents in the area, there’s funding for a light on Central Street to slow traffic and improve public safety. I think all three of these initiatives will each have a positive impact in Stoughton, and I’m glad we could make it happen,”

In July, Sen. Joyce and Reps. Kafka and Galvin met with MBTA and town officials at the station to .

The result was language crafted in the Bond Bill that created a favorable agreement if the town were to purchase the property for use or to sell or lease for private use. When the MBTA originally listed the property for private sale, the legislators were able to get the sale halted until the town could first say whether or not it wanted the property.

The bill also authorized funding for two additional projects in the town; $500,000 for signalization improvements on Ethyl Way, Erin Road, and Central Street and $100,000 for a traffic study on Routes 138 and 27.

In total, the bill authorizes a total investment of $1.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2013, including $885 million in state funds that leverage federal funds for state road, bridge, rail and regional transit projects.

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