Subject: Board of Finance Tues 6:30 PM
From: "Keep The Woods"
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 13:30:47 -0400
To: ktw@keepthewoods.org

Greetings!!
 
It has been quite a week in Simsbury!
 
1.  Keep the Woods gathered well over 1500 signatures in less than one week.  It is important to COLLECT EVEN MORE, right away, and use the opportunity to get our fact sheets and information out to the residents in one-on-one conversations.  Extra petition pages and fact sheets are available at Flamig Farm.  If you haven't signed, stop by Flamig during business hours.
 
2.  There was a Special Board of Selectmen meeting Wednesday night at Eno Hall where the selectmen unanimously agreed to send on the town's appropriation of $11.1 million dollars to the Board of Finance (read the Hartford Courant article and/or hear the WNPR report ).  The Trust for Public Land is committed to an extra $2.75 million dollars in private fundraising to get this $13.85 million acquisition done.  State and federal grants as well as private fundraising above the $2.75 million level will lower the final price to the town.  As of now, at least 2 state grants are likely for over $900,000.  The price for the town is consistent with the appraised value for the property, and well below market value of just the woods portion of the property.  However, the agreement we will vote on and donate to will protect the entire piece, including the vista horse pasture on Bushy Hill Road, and will give the town other small pieces of land that are non-contiguous with the woods and pastures.   
 
Bottom line:  Negotiations about price and funding responsibilities are over.  This is the first clear opportunity we have had to preserve this land, and this opportunity, with help from a national group, will not come again.
 
     At the meeting there was an initial motion to recommend that the BOF bond 8.5 million; we have no problem with this, but the point of this was unclear.  No matter what amount is bonded, and no matter what amount is guaranteed in state grants that will reduce the cost to to the town, the town must "appropriate" 11.1 million and this is what must be voted on in referendum.  We trust the BOF to work out the best financing option for whatever is the final amount the town must pay, and we are doing everything we can to find ways to reduce the cost to the town as much as possible.  Any additional sources, contacts, and suggestions are welcome. 
 
Bottom line:  To meet the terms of the agreement, $11.1 million must go to referendum.  
 
3.  In light of all of the above, the Board of Finance meeting on August 15th is of critical importance.  We need more signatures and very high attendance at that meeting.  Once we know we will have the chance to VOTE ON THE BALLOT we can work on EDUCATION AND FUNDRAISING to get this done!  Tell people about the meeting while you are collecting or are out and about.  Everyone who cares needs to be there!!
 
4.  Next KTW community meeting - Wednesday 7 PM Flamig Farm.  Make sure to come with all of your petition pages to be notarized, Pick up extra sheets at Flamig ASAP and continue collecting as many as possible.  There is a lot of territory that has not been covered.  If you need an assignment, contact Diane at dgn5@sbcglobal.net

If you have pages already notarized either bring them Wed. or contact Diane dgn5@sbcglobal.net, 658-0530 or Mary  wuznguts@msn.com. Call Diane if you will NOT be at the meeting, have pages, and need a notary.

Keep The Woods!

P.S. See pictures from the Mushroom and Bird Walks here.

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