PLYMPTON– On Monday, Aug. 20, Plympton selectmen met at Town House and addressed another brief summer agenda. Notably the board opened and closed the warrant for the upcoming Special Town Meeting, were updated on the Two Brooks Preserve project– which is the reason for the upcoming Special Town Meeting, and also heard an update from Joy Marble, Director of the Council on Aging.
Special Town Meeting
Selectmen opened and closed the warrant for the Thursday, Sept. 20, Special Town Meeting. The process lasted all of a few minutes. The STM will be held at 7 p.m. at the Dennett Elementary School. There will be one article on the warrant, asking the voters whether they will authorize the purchase of the 113-acre property off of Prospect Road once known as the Atwood Property and renamed the Two Brooks Preserve by the Plympton Open Space Committee.
Linda Leddy and Vicki Alberti came before the board bringing an update to selectmen regarding the status of Two Brooks Preserve.
A new logo and campaign for the Two Brooks Preserve were launched on Monday night, including a tri-fold brochure that was mailed to town residents and a website for the project, www.twobrookspreserve.com was launched. In addition, an information session scheduled to explain the Preserve will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10:30 a.m. at the Plympton Public Library.
The purchase price of the property is $800,000. In order for the property to fund itself, without raising taxes for Plympton residents, the Open Space Committee has presented a proposal to the Community Preservation Committee asking for $440,000. The remainder of the funds needed will come from selling up to three lots with frontage on Prospect Road. Private donations are also being solicited to take care of any additional expenses such as survey costs.
The property, identified as one of the most environmentally significant areas in the region, according to Leddy, was enrolled in the Chapter 61 tax relief program. In July the selectmen voted unanimously to exercise their right of first refusal on the property and subsequently signed a purchase and sales agreement with the sellers.
The preserve’s benefits to the town would be numerous, according to the OSC. They include environmental benefits such as extensive aquatic systems and wetlands that help protect healthy drinking water; diverse habitats including forests, meadows, brooks, a bog and a reservoir; and many plant and animal species, including species of “special conservation concern.”
Other benefits identified include a preservation of Plympton’s rural character, recreational and educational opportunities.
Council on Aging Concerns
Joy Marble, Director of the Council on Aging, came before the board to give them an update. Marble’s primary concern, a theme that ran throughout her comments, was the lack of a permanent space for Plympton’s senior citizens. Right now, the COA uses a meeting room at Town House for most of their office space and activities, which Marble says is not conducive to the council’s goals.
Marble indicated that the COA “tries not to step on toes,” but is now using the Town House kitchen and other buildings in town to carry out their functions.
“They [the seniors] need a place to call their own,” Marble said. “I’m working towards getting monies and funds to do that…”
“It’s the dream of all three of us [to find space],” said Selectman Mark Russo.
Selectman Christine Joy suggested that grant money might be found to build a “not elaborate” senior center, or incorporate space for one into the master-plan for the Town House campus.
“You still need some space…some designated space…we’re here to help you,” said Joy.
Marble also said that it was time for the board to think about trading in the van the COA currently uses, which she says is not handicap accessible.
Joy asked if a car-dealership might be interested in “wrapping” a van with their logo and sharing it with several towns’ Councils on Aging, to save money. This was a well-received idea on the part of all.
Marble was also concerned that the COA does not have a phone line of its own. Town Administrator Elizabeth Dennehy stated that the “infrastructure” was in place for the line, but it had not been activated yet.
The Board of Selectmen will next meet Sept. 10, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Town House.