Opinion: Vote yes on Article 7 in Mattapoisett Town Meeting
To the Editor:
Mattapoisett will hold a Special Town Meeting on Monday, November 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Rochester Regional High School. Article 7 asks voters to accept the proposed layout of Old Slough Road so that the Town may complete the restoration of this road for use as an emergency access route to the Point Connett and Angelica Point communities. Mattapoisett Land Trust (MLT) asks for your YES vote on Article 7.
Old Slough Road first was accepted by Town Meeting in 1810. The road presently is an 8-10 foot wide dirt path running from the end of Bowman Road to Angelica Avenue. The restoration will result in a 12-foot wide gravel path running along the present path of the road, with locked gates at each end to prevent motor vehicles from using the road except in emergencies. During normal times, the road will be available to walkers, bicyclers and horseback riders, as it is now.
The major benefit of the restored road will be emergency vehicle access to and from Point Connett and Angelica Point in the event that Angelica Avenue becomes impassable due to flooding or storm conditions. In addition, the restored road will provide improved access by foot, horseback and bicycle to 400+ acres of conservation land preserved by MLT over the past 30 years. Users with limited mobility will be able to access MLT lands if they can navigate a gravel surface, and MLT will work to install full handicap accessibility from the restored road to Grace Pond.
MLT owns nearly half the land area that is permanently affected by Article 7. Three other private landowners also are affected, and two of the three support Article 7. One landowner has raised objections to the project, and proposed an alternative route for the restored road. After careful review, MLT found that the alternative route would require more than 1000 feet of new road construction through MLT forest and recently restored grassland/meadow. There is no public benefit from the alternative route, and the increased construction costs and environmental damage would be significant. Thus MLT does not support the alternative route and urges voters to accept Article 7.
President, Mattapoisett Land Trust, Inc.