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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Weston to buy Case Estates

WESTON

Loud applause and wild cheers broke out at tonight's special town meeting in Weston as hundreds of voters approved the purchase of the Case Estates.

No one spoke in opposition to the motion, which called for the town to use $22.5 million in Community Preservation Act funds and loans, as well as municipal bonds to buy the land at Weston's center.

The measure, which needed a two-thirds majority vote, passed unanimously.

"I was a little surprised to get a unanimous vote but not surprised to see that it passed," said Brian Donahue, who had advocated for the purchase as a member of the Community Preservation Committee. "Now comes the hard work of seeing how much we can keep."

The town selectmen have said that the majority of the land should be kept as open space but some parcels could be sold off as house lots to recoup part of the cost.

Michael Harrity, chairman of the board of selectmen, had reminded the meeting's attendees that private donors could purchase these parcels and then give them back to the town for use as recreational or open space.

The nonprofit Case Fund was established last month to head private fund raising efforts. During the meeting, fund board member William Brady announced that the fund had collected nearly $1 million in pledges.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

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