LYNNFIELD — The Select Board unanimously approved an open space trails license agreement with the Lynnfield Center Water District (LCWD) during a recent meeting.

Town Counsel Tom Mullen said the license agreement with the LCWD pertains to open space that the district owns by the town-owned Willis Woods conservation land on upper Main Street and the Beaver Dam Brook Reservation that is located behind The Centre at Lynnfield shopping plaza off of Main Street.

“It has been long desired by the town to be able to connect hiking trails in town-owned open space,” said Mullen. “Some of the trails exist and other trails have to be built in the future on the parcels owned by the Lynnfield Center Water District. These trails would not be more than six-feet wide. They would be open to the public year-round, but only in the daylight hours.”

Mullen said the license agreement would “allow the town to maintain and build trails.”

“It is terminable by either side after 90 days,” said Mullen. “We hope to work toward a more permanent agreement in the future such as an easement or a lease, but we wanted to start off with a license, which is terminable at will.”

While the town and the LCWD will each have the right to terminate the license agreement “for any reason by giving 90 days’ written notice to the other party,” the agreement states that the open space trails license “shall be effective for an initial term of 10 years commencing on July 1, 2024 and ending on June 30, 2034.”

“The parties may mutually agree to extend the term of this agreement, provided however that the term may not exceed 25 years, including any extensions,” the license agreement states.

According to the LCWD trails license agreement, the town will be “solely responsible for all costs related to the design, permitting, construction and maintenance of the trails.” The pact also states that the LCWD will “provide access to the property to the town, its officers, agents and contractors for the purpose of designing, permitting, constructing or maintaining the trails.”

“Before accessing the property for any such purpose, the town, its officers, contractors or agents shall provide LCWD’s director with notice at least 24 hours prior to entry,” the license agreement states.

Select Board Chair Dick Dalton asked, “wouldn’t a license be a disincentive to go forward and make commitments for either party?”

“It would,” said Mullen. “This has been a sticking point in our discussions to date. The Lynnfield Center Water District’s concern is anything more permanent than a license would require approval by the District Meeting, and they doubt that they could get that approval right now for any long-term commitment. The hope is that with a successful relationship under the license, where presumably the town would not spend significant sums of money, that the District Meeting and our Town Meeting will be more open to a long-term relationship in the future.”

Select Board member Phil Crawford said he supported the license agreement with the LCWD.

“I think it’s great we will be able to use those properties because it abuts our own properties,” said Crawford. “I do have some concerns, but I think this would be good for the time being for the townspeople who want to use those properties. I am in favor of moving forward with it.”

Select Board member Alexis Leahy agreed.

“I am generally in favor of having more open spaces,” said Leahy.

Leahy asked if the town has received any cost estimates for maintaining the existing trails and constructing the new ones.

“I have not seen any estimates,” said Mullen. “I think it is premature because in the early period, it is unlikely that the town is going to make any substantial investment there at all. Anything that is terminable after 90 days just doesn’t invite investment.”

After the discussion, the Select Board unanimously approved the open space trails license agreement with the LCWD.