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Selectmen Vote Not to Sell Watershed Lands

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously on April 22 not to

sell two parcels of town-owned land located in the Charles River watershed area off Cedar St. (Rt. 85) and Rt. I-495. The town received an unsolicited offer for the two parcels a few months ago.

Over the past few months, the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Town Planner Larry Dunkin and former Town Planner Reno DeLuzio have asked selectmen to not sell the parcels, citing

the need to protect water supplies with the pending purchase of the privately owned Milford Water Company. In the "Invitation to Speak" portion of the selectmen's meeting on April 22, local resident Bryan Cole joined in that chorus. "I would ask the board to err on the side of conservation here," he said, "and hold on to them." Town Engineer Mike Dean met with the board and showed them maps depicting

the two parcels, noting they are in a surface water protection zone established by the state Department of Environmental Protection. He also gave the board a detailed, 11-page memo and maps. "It is safe to say these two parcels specifically do contribute to the overall watershed of the Charles River, both in the Town of Milford and the overall watershed of the Charles River. Less development in

the watershed the more beneficial it is to the natural resources and drinking water supplies," he wrote. Noting the two parcels are mostly granite, Selectman Michael Walsh asked, "If it's rock, how does water flow through it?" Dean explained that surface water flows off the land's surface until it reaches points where it can percolate into the ground and reach aquifers. Selectman William Kingkade, citing all the various concerns about the two parcels, made a motion to reject the offer

for the two parcels, with Walsh seconding it and Chairman William Buckley making the vote unanimous.


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