Town Ponders Debt-Exclusion Override

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Town officials are mulling the idea of having a debt-exclusion override vote to fund the construction of a new Miller Field.

Tuesday night Precinct 3 Councilor Nick DelVento, who also serves on the Finance Committee, said they have a placeholder on the Nov. 3 election ballot in the event officials vote to call for the debt-exclusion vote.

Miller Field is expected to cost about $2.5 million to renovate. Superintendent of Schools John Macero said they cannot have that kind of money taken out of the school’s operating budget.

A debt-exclusion override would allow the town to borrow the funding. Taxpayers would see a slight increase in their tax bills, but once the bond is paid off they will see a reduction.

There will be a public hearing October 6 at the Town Council meeting.

As part of a large drainage project at Lewis Lake and around the golf course, Miller Field, which is not in good shape and can’t be used for track meets because it doesn’t meet regulations, will have to be repositioned anyway because of the project. Some are concerned that with a new school across the street that Miller Field is going to “look like a slum.”

“It’s a disgrace and will look even worse when the new school opens,” said Police Chief Terence Delehanty. He pointed out that the town saved money when it refinanced the bond for the new school. A recent film of Miller Field on WCVB 5 fired up Delehanty who didn’t think it gave a good image for the town.

DelVento said the field is not just for football. It is a multi-sport field used for football, soccer, lacrosse and more.

“We’re looking at this from every angle,” DelVento said.

Town Manager had a meeting yesterday with several officials to get a complete vision of Miller Field and the drainage project budget expectations and funding strategies.

Precinct 2 Councilor James Letterie said all of the fields in town should be looked at.

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