NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 27, 2013

Groveland voters to consider land buys

Expanding Board of Selectmen also on warrant

GROVELAND — At Town Meeting Monday night, residents will consider spending nearly $5 million to buy 163 acres, much of which would be preserved as open space.

Residents will also decide whether to ask the state’s permission to expand the Board of Selectman from the current three members to five, an issue Groveland has debated as the town grows.

Town Meeting will be at 7 p.m. in Bagnall School, 253 School St.

Here is a closer look at the key issues residents will consider:

Buying land to preserve as open space

The meeting warrant includes proposals for three major land purchases.

The largest is 61 acres at 150 Center St. The town would borrow $3.7 million to buy the land, which would be used for purposes to be determined later. The town would finance the purchase with a debt exclusion that would raise taxes an estimated $122 per year for the average home for the next 20 years, said town Finance Director Greg Labrecque.

The next largest land purchase on the warrant involves 54 acres on Dewhirst Street. The cost is $935,000, with $835,000 from Groveland’s Community Preservation Act money, already raised through property taxes, and $100,000 from the Water Department’s Enterprise Fund.

The third large land buy to be proposed at the meeting involves 48 acres known as the Center Street Greenway Parcel. The proposal calls for the town to spend $510,000 for the land and preserve it as open space for recreation and water supply protection. Of the $510,000, $390,000 would come from Community Preservation Act money and $120,000 from a state grant.

“Of all the parcels involved, the 61 acres at 150 Center St. has no special use or purpose yet, and the other two are for what the warrant says, open space recreation,” Labrecque said.

Expanding the Board of Selectmen

Residents will decide whether to give the Board of Selectmen authority to seek to expand the board from three to five members.

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