Westborough prepares to vote on State Hospital property acquisition

By Chris Kopacko, Contributing Writer

Westborough large web iconWestborough – Town Manager Jim Malloy presented the Special Town Meeting articles that pertain to the proposed acquisition of the Westborough State Hospital land during a public hearing on Sept. 17.

Held at the Westborough High School auditorium, the meeting was the third and final public hearing to discuss the proposed land acquisition before it comes before Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. ?21, where residents will vote whether or not the town will purchase the 95-acre property at a price tag of $2.2 million over 10 years, or $220,000 per year. If purchased, the town would then share with the state anywhere from 30-50 percent of the net proceeds of future development, depending on incentives such as comprehensive studies on land use, adherence to the state's sustainable development principles, and how quickly the town could resell the land for development.

Malloy stressed the “gigantic benefits” the town would see in acquiring the former state hospital land, which included an estimated potential of $1.3 million in tax revenue per year. Westborough would also be able to preserve the six soccer fields currently utilized by the state's Department of Youth Services that are located on the property, as well as have control over who they sell to for future development.

“Instead of having the state decide how this property is redeveloped, the town would be in the driver's seat,” Malloy said.

One resident inquired how open the Board of Selectmen would be to developing some of the property for residential use.

“The intent is not to develop this [property] into maximum residential usage,” Ian Johnson, the chair of the Board of Selectmen responded. Johnson also stressed that while development plans would be done with “substantial community involvement,” the focus is first on the land acquisition.

“We can's decide on what to do with the property unless we make this first step in acquiring it,” he said. “We believe what we'se done is strike a very favorable deal for [Westborough].”

State Sen. Jaime Eldridge, D-Acton and State Rep. Matthew Beaton, R-Shrewsbury, both attended the hearing to listen to public opinions, and urged residents to contact their offices with any questions or concerns.

The Oct. 21 Town Meeting will also be held in the Westborough High School auditorium.

Short URL: http://communityadvocate.com/?p=40057

Posted by on Sep 18 2013. Filed under Byline Stories, This Just In, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

+ eight = 14

Recently Commented

  • Dr. Nick Kofos: Our entire family sends sincere thoughts and prayers to you during this most difficult time. May you...
  • Carol Donnelly: I’m so very very sorry to learn this news. Patty and Billy, you are in my thoughts and I send...
  • Jamie Sullivan: That hospital should be locked properly. If the town can’t invest in such an endeavor, then...
  • Maureen Roy: Very nice article. Condensed but with a myriad of detail, and an understanding of the winds of change....
  • MaryJo: We get dozens of entries each year for the Heroes Among Us program, and each story is touching and powerful....