By Michelle Sanford, Editor

During a March 23 Mendon Select Board meeting, an agenda item regarding the sale or lease of two properties in town was discussed, and in all likelihood will be brought to voters during the May Annual Town Meeting.

Interim Town Planner Jack Hunter discussed properties at 36 Milford Street and 8 Morrison Drive. The Morrison Drive property was the initial sight for a new police station before the new police headquarters was completed on Main St.

According to Hunter, the 15-acre property at 36 Milford Street property was appraised at $375,000. There was one bid to purchase it for $400,000.

Another bid offered to continue leasing the property for the current solar panels there for $40,000 per year over a 20-year lease. “Obviously, a PILOT program would have to be negotiated,” Hunter explained.

The sale of the property would involve constructing a large storage facility. As a result, access to the solar panels in the rear must be maintained or relocated.

The Morrison Drive property was appraised for $570,000. “We got one bid for $300,000 and another for $571,000,” Hunter stated.

Town Administrator Kim Newman noted that a committee of herself, Hunter, and Finance Director Jody Kurczy would have to review each of the proposals more closely and come back to the Select Board with a recommendation regarding which proposals to bring to voters. “It’s great we have two valid proposals; that we have options for moving forward on both,” she said.

Select Board member Mike Merolli suggested it would be a good idea to have Town Counsel involved in the committee’s discussions, as well. “To know legally if we’re on the right track.”

“We’ve been very strategic about the solar, in that we’ve tried to keep it out of sight,” said Select Board member Lawney Tinio. “To waste actual business space that were limited to—it might be better to have a business there. Unless solar is just a huge windfall for us.”

Select Board Chair Mark Reil said he was thankful things were finally moving forward on the two properties. “This issue has been constantly talked about for many, many years. I thank you (Hunter) and Kim for pushing forward on this and coming up with a couple of great opportunities. Business development is something we’ve needed to focus on.”

The Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 6. The Select Board will meet again on April 6.