Subject: New land deal - Board of Selectmen passes unanimously
From: "Keep The Woods"
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 08:57:17 -0400
To: ktw@keepthewoods.org

Greetings!!
 
The Town, Trust for Public Land, and the Ethel Walker School met last week to continue to work toward the goal of preserving the land.  A new arrangement has been hammered out that will help with the town finance the purchase.  Read about it here.  The Board of Selectman passed this unanimously.  It is now going on to the Board of Finance, soon.  We need to get this deal finalized ASAP so we can fundraise and work toward the referendum!
 
Summary (of our understanding) of the arrangement:
 
The total price ($13.85M) and the acreage remain the same.  There are two main changes:
 
1.  By March 31st, EWS will receive $10.75M.  $9.75M is for the majority of the land, and $1M as a non-refundable deposit toward the remainder of the land.  The town will pay the additional $3.1M over the next 5-7 years ($2M within 5 years and the final $1.1M within 7 years).
 
2.  Instead of selling the development rights to the town, the school will keep a perpetual conservation easement on the land.  The legal terminology differs, but the ultimate outcome of preserving the land and retaining the land for all school uses remains exactly the same.
 
Advantages:
 
1.  The extended timeline for a portion of the town monies opens access to federal, state and private grant sources that are not available within the current short timeline.
2.  Monies in the 6-year capital budget for open space can be applied to the purchase as they come up in the next few years (rather than bonded up front and added to our debt service).
3.  The preservation outcome is the same.
 
We are on an extremely tight timeline to get this on the regular November ballot.  We need to get this signed, sealed and delivered ASAP so we can focus on getting the money!!
 
Community meeting this week:  7 PM Flamig Farm
Easy but CRITICAL database assignments and other small jobs and events - we need everyone on this for the next 10 weeks.  Be there for a short meeting and get your assignment!
 
Coverage needed for upcoming events:
 
Septemberfest - Sept 8,9,10
Tariffville Village Association Festival - September 23
 
At last check we especially need people on Friday night and part of the day on Sunday at Septemberfest.  But we would also love to add more to our Saturday crew!  If you can volunteer at Septemberfest or Tariffville, please email Jan Beatty (emmajbeatty@aol.com). 
 
We are also sponsoring a Landscaping for Wildlife garden party on September 9th and a free guided educational walk featuring an archaeologist on September 16th.  Hope to see you!
 
Finally, we are starting to talk to voters and identifying those who are committed to voting YES for preservation.  Are you?  If you live in Simsbury and are committed to VOTING YES, email back with your name and address and we will add you to the list.  Our goal is 5300!!
 
Keep the Woods!

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