April 06, 2020

St. George selectmen weigh land acquisition

ST. GEORGE – Selectmen will meet Tuesday to consider many issues that surfaced this week during a public hearing on a proposed purchase of a 72-acre parcel with 450 feet of deep-water shorefront on the St. George River for public access.

One major sticking point mentioned at Tuesday’s public hearing was that one of the lots in the 10-lot private subdivision has been sold and the owner wants to keep it.

“This was news to us last night that [the owner of] lot number two doesn’t want to sell,” Town Manager John Falla said Wednesday.

The 71.73-acre subdivision, which has a new two-story clubhouse and extensive dock, is located on Waymouth Road, off Glenmere Road. The land is owned by Glenmere LLC and has an assessed value of $1.4 million.

The town selectmen have negotiated a deal whereby the town would pay $1.2 million cash, plus having a portion donated by the owner. The owner would have an appraisal done, and the difference between the cash price and the appraisal would be donated to the town. The owner benefits from a tax write-off.

Among residents’ other concerns are buying property before knowing exactly what to do with it, as well as tax implications, traffic impact, hidden costs and the possibility of an eminent domain taking.

Dennis Leight, a former selectman who served on the board in the 1980s, claimed at the meeting that the board had no authority to negotiate a land purchase deal.

At next week’s meeting, selectmen will review residents’ concerns and decide what further action to take, Falla said.

The selectmen’s session will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the town office.

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