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Mendon CPA Article Seeking to Purchase 97 Acres of Land

The Community Preservation Committee is sponsoring five articles on the November 19 Special Town Meeting that will be requesting Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for various projects. One of those articles will ask for funding to purchase nearly 100 acres of land.

The CPA articles are the last to appear on the warrant and include Article 42, which is requesting $580,000 from CPA funding in order to purchase approximately 97 acres of land known as the Gannett properties. The parcel numbers for the properties are located at 48 Kinsley Lane, 79 Millville Road and 17 Pleasant St.

According to Anne Mazar of the Community Preservation Committee, part of the 97 acres is designated by the state as critical natural landscape. The Massachusetts Audubon has designated it an important bird area and The Nature Conservancy has designated it as a terrestrial resilience corridor. It also has been identified in the MA Heritage Landscape Inventory and in the Blackstone Valley Prioritization Project as an area of high priority for protection. The land could be used for passive recreation activities including non-motorized hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and bird watching. Funding for the land is contingent on the town receiving a Mass. Land Grant of $315,630, making the final out-of-pocket costs of $264,370.

Other articles on the warrant include Article 38, which is asking residents to approve an amendment to Article 19 which was approved during the last May Annual Town Meeting. In May, Article 19 transferred CPA funding in order to make the walkway between the Town Beach parking lot and Memorial Field parking lot ADA compliant. If approved, the amendment would include the following wording: "and for the purpose of paving handicapped parking spaces in the ball field parking lots."

Article 39 is requesting $8,000 from CPA funding in order to match a grant from the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The monies will be used for trails, research on historical artifacts, and to add gates to prevent motorized vehicle traffic in the Mendon Town Forest. The funding is contingent on the grant being awarded.

Article 40 was requesting $258,020 of CPA funds to purchase 71 acres of the Paddock D'Allessandro property located at 52 Providence St. If the property were to be purchased, it could be used for a possible expansion to the Senior Center, community housing, or open space. However, according to Mazar, the Committee will request to pass over Article 40 until additional information is collected. The Committee plans to bring the article forward again at a future Special Town Meeting.

Article 41 is a standard article and is asking residents to act on the report of the Community Preservation Committee and the Fiscal Year 2014 Community Preservation budget for the payment of debt service, Community Preservation projects, and all other necessary expenses for the year.

In total, 43 articles are on Town Meeting warrant. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Miscoe Hill School.


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