Dartmouth Correct to Go Slow on Reed Road Parcel [OPINION]
Dartmouth Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly recently to reject the sale or lease of a combined 42 acres of town-owned land at Reed Road and Route 6. Roughly 24 acres of the land is wetland, a portion of which nearly reaches Lake Noquochoke.
Dartmouth Week reports "Burgo Basketball Association founder and president Steve Burgo had presented plans to the Select Board earlier this summer for the nonprofit to build a $6 million recreational facility on the land." However, the paper reports the town would have had to seek bids for the parcel, and there is no guarantee that Burgo would have submitted the winning bid.
Four of the five members of the Board of Selectmen endorsed the sale or lease of the property. The Finance Committee opposed the idea. Some in town felt the property might be worth more money or that it might be better developed for recreation purposes for North End residents. Others wish to preserve the wooded area in its current state.
Town Meeting was right to put off the transfer of the property while the town's options for the use of the land are thoroughly considered. The property is beautiful in its current state and has been enjoyed by residents for years who like to hike the scenic trails.
Dartmouth could make money by selling or leasing the Reed Road property, but sometimes making money is not the most important thing. Sometimes just leaving things alone make more sense.
I think this might be one of those times.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.