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Plympton weighs sale, conservation of parcels

Plympton selectmen are considering whether about 30 parcels totaling some 300 acres in town should be put up for sale or used for conservation purposes.

“In my opinion, the town shouldn’t be in the business of owning land,” said Selectman John Henry. “We should put it back on the tax rolls.”

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Henry, who broached the subject at a recent selectmen’s meeting, is compiling a list of all town-owned property that might be sellable or used as conservation land and will bring the list to his board to review soon.

Once the board agrees on what land should be sold or used for conservation purposes, an article will be drafted for the the annual Town Meeting warrant in May.

“I can think of a lot of places where the money we could make could be used,” Henry said. “Like all towns, we have infrastructure needs.”

Henry said he would like to see any money raised from these sales earmarked for the local capital stabilization fund, which can be used only for capital projects with a life of more than five years and a cost of more than $25,000.

One of the larger properties that Henry said he would like used as conservation land is an 80-acre parcel that abuts existing conservation land behind Dennett Elementary School.

“A lot of that property is wetlands,” he said. “There’s not much value in trying to sell it, so I think it would be best to put it in conservation.”

Many of the town-owned parcels don’t have access points and can’t be built on, Henry said.

“I think they would be of most interest to people whose property abuts these parcels of land,” he said. “They might be interested in buying them.”

Town coordinator Dale Pleau agreed.

“This is a good idea,” he said. “Once a town has satisfied its needs for things like conservation and recreation, it’s generally not in a town’s best interest to hold onto a lot of real estate that is not being taxed or used for anything.”

Juliet Pennington can be reached at writeonjuliet@
comcast.net
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