To the Editor:
In a democracy, "sunshine is the best disinfectant."
Some have been following the proposed Minortown Road open space acquisition by attending meetings, a public hearing and participating in a property walk.
Many have not.
On the surface the proposed acquisition appears to be a good move for the town. However, there are some serious questions/concerns that the Town has not adequately addressed about this property. These include:
- Why wasn’t a more current appraisal of the property conducted? There were two appraisals completed in 2010, but one was thrown out by the DEEP grantors. The remaining 2010 appraisal is $275,000 for 21.4 acres, which amounts to $12,850 per acre. That seems like a high price for land that is in a flood plain.
- Has there been an environmental study conducted? There are various reports of dumping on the property, such as construction debris, piles of tires, etc. To avoid liability to the town in the future, an environmental study would be a prudent move.
- There is a concern about the information disseminated about this proposed purchase. One town mailer states that the various town boards/commissions have "approved" it. Quite the contrary. Upon inspection of town board/commission meeting records, no board/commission has moved to approve the acquisition. For example, the Board of Finance moved only to take the question to a town meeting.
For the record, I am not opposed to acquiring the Minortown Road property to preserve the aquifer and provide passive recreation for the public. But, what’s the hurry? The grant is not going away. The responsible thing for the town is to conduct due diligence before rushing to purchase this property.