Selectmen opt not to pursue land purchase
Westborough – The Board of Selectmen voted at its Jan. 22 meeting not to exercise its option to buy eight acres of farmland that a local business wants to use for a solar farm.
The land, part of Harvey's Farm on Maple Avenue, is currently under the protection of the state's Chapter 61A agricultural law, which gives the town first right of refusal if the landowner chooses to remove it from that protection. Owner Jim Harvey told the selectmen that his company hopes to place a ground mounted solar facility on that land.
Harvey said he had been given “one day's notice” about a meeting the town's Open Space Preservation Committee had planned to discuss concerns its members had about the town possibly giving up the right of refusal for the land purchase. However, the committee was unable to hold the planned meeting, he said, due to a lack of a quorum.? Another meeting was supposed to be held a week later, Harvey said, but no one from the committee had contacted him with any details.
The selectmen noted as the eight acres in question are in the middle of the property, it would not be beneficial for the town to pursue purchasing them.
They also noted that they empathized with Harvey's frustration.
“We have heard that we are not easy to do business with,” selectman Denny Drewry said. “We need to address that.”
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