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Lexington officials outline proposal to purchase Wright Farm

Posted by Brock Parker  April 25, 2012 02:35 PM

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Lexington officials Tuesday night outlined the town’s proposal to purchase almost 14 acres of land known as the Wright Farm.

The plans were presented in a special meeting at Cary Hall.

The Board of Selectmen has already voted in favor of spending about $3 million on the property, which is in the northern corner of the town that borders Bedford and Burlington.

But Lexington’s Annual Town Meeting is expected to vote on whether to purchase the property in May.

Selectmen Chairman Hank Manz chaired the special informational meeting at Cary Hall Tuesday to explain what the town intends to do with the land.

Manz said the Board of Selectmen and the Conservation Commission are in favor of using the property as conservation land. He said the town’s Community Preservation Committee has also voted in favor of using funds raised through the Community Preservation Act to buy the land for conservation purposes only.

Philip Hamilton, the vice chairman of the town’s Conservation Commission, said the Wright Farm has been on a list of properties that the town has identified as important to acquire for some time. But Hamilton said that on more than one occasion when the town thought it was about to purchase the property, it could not reach an agreement with the Wright family.

But this year, Hamilton said the Wright family approached the town with an interest to sell, and the town now has a letter of intent that it plans to purchase 13.75 acres of the farm, leaving one acre along Grove Street to the Wright family. Hamilton said that acre includes a barn, garage and house, and Lexington will have the first right to purchase the property if the family ever wishes to sell it.

Manz said if the town ever purchases the additional acre of property, it could be used for affordable housing.

Town Manager Carl Valente said the town’s option to buy the land if it is ever put up for sale would be for a price beginning at $500,000 with an annual adjustment based on the consumer price index.

Two articles about the purchase of the Wright Farm will come before the annual Town Meeting sometime on or after May 9. One article would authorize the town to purchase the property using funds raised through the Community Preservation Act, and the other would authorize the town to purchase the property through Lexington’s general fund.

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