October 14, 2013
Dear Fellow Medfield Residents and Voters:
I urge you to vote at the Special Election on Monday, October 21, 2013 at the Senior Center on Ice House Road to support the opportunity for the Town of Medfield to purchase 31 acres of meadows, fields, trails, and woodlands that are part of Red Gate Farm – the former Charles and Maurine Kenny Property. This will also provide access to the 25 acre Scout Land adjacent to the property that has been virtually land-locked.
I believe this is important for the following key reasons:
Preservation of Open Space
· Our community has a strong sense of value in preservation of open space and conservation land as demonstrated by surveys of residents and the overwhelming vote to purchase this property at the Town Meeting on October 7.
· Purchase of the property provides easy and unencumbered access to the entire 56 acres of land without need for crossing private property on an easement.
· Trail easements that might be provided by the developer are problematic -- previous experience is even when written into deeds they are frequently ignored or unenforced, and planted over with trees and shrubs.
· Control of the property is also important because it interconnects with a vast network of ancient trails, cart paths, and old roads linking the Kenny property to the Scout Land, 300 acres of Adams Farm, Medfield Town Conservation Land, paths along the power lines, Holmquist property behind the Wheelock School, and New England Forestry land in Walpole.
Protection of the Water Aquifer
· Underlying this area is an extensive aquifer that we depend on for our water supply (Medfield Town Wells #3 and #4 are in this area.)
· Control of the watershed above the aquifer is important to protect against any disturbances such as changes in ground water flows, leakage from septic systems, and run-off of nitrogen, phosphorous, and pesticides from lawns and gardens.
· Part of the property may be in a flood plain creating further concern.
· Our town purchased the Holmquist Property, the Saw Mill Brook property off of School and Wight Streets, and is now obtaining the wells and property near Colonial Road once used by Medfield State Hospital for this same reason.
· Why should the Town and our community take on additional risks to our water supply when we have the option of not incurring them in the first place?
Economic and Financial Impacts
· The 31 acre property can be acquired for a very low price ($1.4 million or $45,161 per acre) and financed through a 20 year bond at a very low interest rate.
· Tax contribution for a median priced home is no more than $26 per year compared to doing nothing.
· Tax contribution required to buy the property compared to tax increase due to development is even less, depending on the average number of children per house attending Medfield schools.
· In the long run, tax impact of development will certainly be higher than if the Town purchases the property because the bond will be paid off in 20 years.
· Tax impact of development could even be higher in the short run if there is an average of 2.5 children per house in the new development – a very realistic assumption considering these would be 4-5 bedroom homes.
· Town has already invested substantially in the property through reduced taxes under Forestry classification – now is the Town’s chance to recover the previous investments.
Thank you for supporting the opportunity for the Town to purchase the meadows, fields, and woodlands that are part of Red Gate Farm. Please vote YES in favor of the debt exclusion to Proposition 2 ½ on October 21.