To the Editor:
Dr. Bindelglass’ letter supporting the sale of South Park claimed that I changed my mind regarding the sale. Not sure how and why that assertion came about since I was never asked about it.
Let me set the records straight:
1. At the Public Hearing I spoke on my behalf and not on behalf of the Conservation Commission.
2. The letter the Commission sent to DEEP some two years ago in support of ALT’s grant application was just that: supporting a grant application. It did not mean, I for one, was for the sale and for that matter it did not obligate any of the Commissioners one way or the other. In the past we have supported other grant applications that never materialized.
3. I am against splitting up the property without a plan. Both the POCD and the Affordable Housing Task Force identified this property as a prime site for affordable housing units. We bought this property to avoid such development and now we are being pushed back into a similar situation by one of our own commissions?
4. Lack of maintenance has been claimed and rightly so. Prior Administrations neglected to declare the property as open space which would have given the Conservation Commission the authority of maintenance.
5. Dr. Bindelglass stated that the property under town ownership is vulnerable to the 8-30G Statute unless it is owned by a land trust or any other private entity. So how does the current plan protect us? It does not.
6. The financial aspect of the sale. The debt will be paid off in 2029 and it costs $133/household/year. The $470K sale price would accelerate the payoff date to mid-2027 with a one time benefit of $188/household In 7 years we will own this property and now we want to sell it? Land does not grow on trees, once gone, it is gone.
In short, we need a viable set of plans and so far we do not have one.