The Stoughton Alternative line was named as the preferred route for the South Coast Rail Project in September, but the town is planning on fighting back.
Town Meeting members voted to spend $150,000 to have their town counsel, Kopelman & Paige, file measures against the Gov. Deval Patrick-supported project. Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the Stoughton rail provides the "best transportation, environmental and smart growth benefits." The rail is designed to connect New Bedford and Fall River to Boston via electric trains.
"Their preferred route is the Stoughton route, and we are dead set against it," said selectmen chairman John Anzivino. "We're getting the short end of this."
Town officials are also concerned the South Coast Rail will bring state-designed changes to the downtown and to the areas along the route.
If the town doesn't voice its objections to the state now, Stoughton will lose its right to protest against the South Coast Rail in the future, according to attorney George X. Pucci of Koppelman and Paige PC., who will be representing the town.
State officials have put together a web site to explain their plan at
"This is not a short-term process," said Anzivino. "We will be keeping Town Meeting and the residents up to date. There will be a public forum in the near future."
At the meeting of the Commuter Rail Task Force in Norton Thursday, the Patrick administration announced 17 technical assistance grants of almost $245,000 will be awarded to "communities to implement smart-growth principles of the South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan."
“MassDOT is pleased to provide this sixth year of technical
assistance funding to the communities in the South Coast Rail corridor,”
said Transportation Secretary Richard Davey in a press release. “By taking advantage of
this support, cities and towns in the region are positioning
themselves to welcome economic development that aligns with their goals,
preserves natural resources and ensures sustainability.”
What do you think the town should do about the South Coast Rail?