Opinion: Hoff property purchase is good for Marion

Nov 3, 2020

This letter in response to Ted North’s Nov. 1 letter to the editor regarding the town acquiring the 33.7 acre Hoff property

To the Editor:

First, an update on the financials; the Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission will be buying the Conservation Restriction for $225,000. The Sippican Lands Trust will pay the remaining $75,000. 

Our objective is to protect the Hoff parcels as permanently protected open space. We have found a way to protect this property and lower the cost to the Town by $75,000. Why is that a bad thing?

Using Land Bank funds requires that someone hold a CR, either: 1. We own the property and SLT holds the CR, or 2. Our proposal, where SLT owns the property and we hold the CR. The difference is that in scenario #1, the town is responsible for any improvements and maintenance and that work is subject to the Prevailing Wage Law, and the bidding requirements of the State Procurement Act. In scenario #2, there is no future costs to the town. Why is that a bad thing?

Leaving the Town out of the deal means no deal. The SLT was asked by MOSAC to participate in this land protection partnership. Although they were already in the middle of two fund drives, they have done a fantastic job helping the town reduce its cost on this project. If you believe there are “financial angels available,” please have them contact me.

We are buying a CR with an appraised value of $257,500 for $225,000. That’s a good deal.

What we are actually getting is 33.7 acres of land for conservation and passive recreation with an appraised value of $310,000 for a $225,00 investment. And no future maintenance costs. That’s a better deal.

Vote yes on Articles five, six, seven and eight on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Old Rochester Regional High School auditorium at 6:45 p.m.

John Rockwell