Some think Greenwood should ask for more mill land
POSTED AUG. 5-Setting the date for a public hearing on the proposal by Saunders Mill investors to have the town take ownership of a one-acre, PCB-contaminated lot on the property was a late scratch at the Greenwood Selectmen's Meeting Tuesday, but the topic still came up.
“Has the town given any thought to negotiating with [the investors]?” Planning Board member Norm Millett asked the selectmen.
“If we're going to take that liability, I think we ought to get something else in return. … to sweeten the pot.”
“I think we're going to be OK, Norman,” Board Chairman Fred Henderson replied. “We're not going to get into a mess, I can tell you that.”
Millett was not convinced. “If you don't so some legwork ahead of time, you won't have any answers for the people.”
But local historian, and Locke Mills native, Steve Seames, is convinced he has one possible answer – having Greenwood take more than the single acre, other land that would be of genuine value to the town.
“In looking over the general layout of the present village, and the village of the 1880-1950s, it appears to me that this proposed land transaction could be very advantageous to the town of Greenwood,” Seames told The Citizen.
“If the owners of the mill are willing to give, in a gesture of good faith, the low meadow lot north of the Mt. Abram Cemetery on Route 26, and the two or three lots at the corner of Bird Hill Road and Route 26, it opens some possibility for burial-ground expansion, and a space that is large enough and appropriate for the Town Hall to be relocated to if it cannot be renewed and made usable in its present location [because of mold, Bethel Citizen, March 18, 2010].”
Town Manager Kim Sparks said Wednesday that other residents have raised the possibility of similar arrangements, some involving different parcels of mill property, such as the dam lot.
Sparks said she expected those possibilities to be discussed at the next selectmen's meeting, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.
Setting a date for a public hearing on the investors' initial offer had originally been on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, but was removed, Sparks said, at the request of Linda Walbridge, director of the Western Maine Economic Development Council, who is working with the group.
“She said they we're ready for that yet,” the town manager said.