Co-Chair of the Open Space Committee Linda Leddy attended the Monday, June 1 Plympton Board of Selectmen meeting to provide an update on the sale of the three lots on Prospect St. An auction was held for the three lots, which are roughly 1.5 acres each, with all bids on the lots due by May 20. The lots back up to 160 acres of permanently protected conservation land. There was no purchase price but rather a suggested minimum bid of $125,000 apiece for Lots 1 and 2 and $120,000 for Lot 3.
Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy said that she had gone through the bid packages with town counsel. She told the selectmen that they could move forward with awarding the bid for Lot 3 which came in above the minimum at $127,500. The highest bidders for Lot 3 were Scott and Susan Curley.
The sole bidder for Lots 1 and 2 was SJC Consulting Group who bid $115,000 for each lot. Complicating the awarding of Lots 1 and 2 was the contingency provided by the bidders that they be awarded all three lots. The selectmen were able to vote to award the lots with the caveat that the bidders amend both offers to remove the contingency.
The intent is for the proceeds from the sale of the three lots to be allocated toward the repayment of the bond that was taken out at town meeting in 2018 to secure the purchase of Two Brooks Preserve. The sale of the lots has been a long process with every effort being made to advertise extensively. Leddy said that despite initial interest from many parties she felt that many people were scared off due to the current state of the economy. Selectman Mark Russo said, “Much thanks to Linda Leddy and the Open Space Committee… it has been a long haul, but we are making progress.”
Assuming the awarded bids result in the sale of all 3 lots, even with some new fundraising pledges, the Two Brooks Preserve Fund will still fall short by $25,000. This could be covered by seeking those funds from the town’s Capital Stabilization Fund.
While requests for $25,000 or more from that fund require a vote at the annual town meeting, requests of less than $25,000 can be granted through approval by the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, and Capital Stabilization Committee. The request would be kept under $25,000.
Dennehy gave an update on the reopening of the townhouse for the public. She said that the first day went smoothly and thanked the Plympton Fire Department for all of their assistance with signage, a hand sanitizer station, and other tasks. “The few people that did come in were very gracious and everything went well.” Briggette Martins said that as an employee of the building she felt safe returning to work there. Martins referred to the updates made to the building as “really impressive” and “so well organized.”
Dennehy told the selectmen that a group of people including Dennett Elementary School Principal Peter Veneto and Technology Director for Silver Lake Steve Pellowe did a walkthrough at Dennett in order to prepare for town meeting. Dennehy said that they would like to also have a representative from Area 58 do a walkthrough as well. A bulletin outlining what to expect at both town meeting and town election will likely be available to residents next week.
Chair Christine Joy ended the meeting with a rave for the Plympton Police Department and it’s Chief Matthew Clancy. Joy alluded to the recent tragedy in Minneapolis and the resulting protests and said she is reassured to know that Clancy and the department have been properly trained on use of force. Joy said that the policies implemented in Plympton “place emphasis on the sanctity of human life” and said that “deescalating is their primary objective.”