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LETTER: Drew Gardens Property Should Be Used For Fire Station, New Rec Dept. Home

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Paul Cully. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own letter, e-mail [email protected]

It should be inconceivable that six acres for which the town paid over half a million dollars for an agricultural preservation restriction, should suddenly be turned into a non-agricultural commercial property – but that is reality in wicked Westford.  From my perspective the six acres should have been bought by the town, and used as a site for the overpriced fire station and a new, permanent home for the Recreation Department, including facilities that could be “rented” out, such as a swimming pool and an ice rink.  The Drew Gardens site makes much more sense for a fire station, as the proposed site (right across the street) is too small and requires quite a bit of “site preparation” (read blasting), and you could reasonably wonder if the town has learned anything from the last hill they blasted away (the highway garage and the perchlorate). 

 

But owing to the cleverness of “town government”, other options for the six acres is not be what the voters at Annual Town Meeting will be asked to consider.  The decision not to purchase the property we paid so much to “protect” was made in secret (executive session) by the Selectmen.  Even though at $650K it was a bargain, given the town’s purported needs for a fire station and a permanent home for the Recreation Department, with facilities to serve the town and the potential to collect revenue to defray the cost.  Since the Rec. Dept. has estimated that they would need $7M and the last fire station estimate is for $14M, doesn’t the $650K acquisition price for Drew Gardens make sense?  Apparently not.