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Selectmen Vote to Sell Two Surplus Properties

After much discussion on April 8, the Board of Selectmen decided to offer two small parcels of town-owned land deemed to be "surplus" for sale to abutting property owners.

The first parcel – a 4,970 square-foot lot on Bowdoin Dr. assessed at $12,800 – was originally configured in 1964 as an access way to rear land, but never used as such, according to Town Treasurer Christopher Pilla "The parcel of land is, generally, not buildable by itself and an abutter has expressed a desire to purchase it," he told selectmen.

The town acquired the land in 2007 and is owed $4,809 in taxes on it, he said, recommending the town set a $6,000 minimum price for the 0.114-acre parcel.

Selectmen voted unanimously to declare the land as "surplus" and then agreed to offer it to both abutting property owners. If one is interested, it would be sold via a "direct disposition" method.

Town Counsel Charles Boddy explained that state laws allow town-owned property to be directly sold to an abutter if the land value is below a certain amount, as in this case.

The second parcel is a 3,202 square-foot lot at the intersection of Granite and Railroad Streets, assessed at $10,100. Pilla said the Foggiano Club, the direct abutter, encroaches on the land. Also, a utility pole centered on the lot's Granite St. frontage blocks access to the land, he said. Currently, $3,353 in back taxes are owed and a minimum bid of $5,000 should be asked, Pilla added.

Selectmen also voted to declare this 0.73-acre piece of land as "surplus" and to offer it via "direct disposition" to the Foggiano Club.

Pilla also asked the board to revisit the offers made in February to buy other surplus properties in the Route I-495 area. Since then, the Planning Board and Conservation Commission opposed selling the parcels because they are in a watershed protection area.

Selectman Michael Walsh asked to table the issue until the next board meeting to discuss those objections. "I'm not going to sell," said Selectman William Kingkade, citing the watershed area.

Chairman William Buckley said that, before he made a decision, he wanted Town Engineer Mike Dean to explain how land that is mostly granite protects a watershed and how groundwater can percolate through the granite to recharge underground aquifers.




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