News Flash

Town of Plainville

Posted on: October 23, 2023

Tri-County Building Project Voter Information

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 TRI-COUNTY REGIONAL VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL

SPECIAL DISTRICT-WIDE ELECTION INFORMATION

A special district-wide election is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2023, in the following towns: Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole, and Wrentham. The polling hours are from 12 PM to 8 PM. This election will determine whether a new $286,000,000 Regional Vocational Technical High School will be constructed. It’s important to note that Plainville’s polling location for this election is in the front training room of the Public Safety Building at 194 South Street (not the rear equipment bay, typically used for most elections). Furthermore, regardless of the vote totals in individual towns, the question will be approved if a majority of those voting in the election vote in favor of constructing the new building.

If the vote passes at the special district-wide election, member communities will collectively be responsible for approximately $205,000,000 of the total project costs. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Massachusetts School Building Authority, will contribute the additional $81,000,000. The cost of constructing the Vocational Technical High School will be distributed among each regional school district member community's annual assessment for the next 30+ years, based on enrollment as of October 1st each year. Each member community will need to identify its own individual funding source annually to cover this expense.

The anticipated financial impact on the Town of Plainville upon the project's completion is estimated to be approximately $1,615,000 per year. Please be aware that this estimate highly depends on the prevailing interest rate at the time of project bonding and the number of students from Plainville attending Tri-County each year. The Town will need to incorporate this cost into its financial planning, along with other projects such as a much-needed new well and water treatment plant, anticipated roof replacements in the next few years at both local schools and the KP Regional Schools, the downtown TIP Project local costs, an updated Pavement Management Plan, and potential new projects for sewer inflow & infiltration. As of now, Plainville Town officials have not identified a funding source(s) to cover the expected cost to the Town if the project is approved. 

Options being considered include:

  •  A Debt Exclusion vote: If approved by voters at an annual or special election and adopted as the sole funding source, it is estimated that this would cost the average taxpayer approximately $328+ per year for the next 30+ years.
  •  A reduction of the controllable portions of the School Department and Town Budgets: To absorb the additional annual cost without a debt exclusion, it is anticipated that controllable portions of the overall Town Budget, including the local Schools, Police, and Fire Departments (as the largest parts of that budget), would need to be reduced by up to $1,615,000 per year. While new growth will mitigate some of that impact, it is essential to recognize that the budget is also subject to contractual and inflationary increases that will consume much of that new growth.
  • A combination of the two approaches above: There will be approximately one year to assess actual FY2024 and estimated FY2025 new growth and potential budget cuts, determining a reasonable amount that could be covered through those means. It is possible to work out a plan where a significant portion of the cost is funded this way, with a smaller debt exclusion override proposal for the remaining costs. This would still require an election vote from the town.

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School representatives recently conducted a public outreach session with the Plainville Select Board on October 4th. You can view a replay of that meeting at: https://plainville.northtv.net/plainville-board-of-selectmen/plainville-select-board-10-4-23

Additionally, Peter Gay from North TV interviewed Tri-County Superintendent Dr. Karen Maguire to discuss the project. You can watch the interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZRDnfbC774&;t=21s

For more information about the project, please visit the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School Building Project website at www.tri-countybuilding.com, or you can contact them at (508) 528-5400.


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