By Maureen Doherty
LYNNFIELD —With the opening of the October Town Meeting warrant Monday night and pending transfer of the Centre Farm property to the town by the end of September, the selectmen urged the townspeople to participate in next week’s public forum on viable options for the potential use or disposition of Centre Farm.
The forum on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium will serve as the opportunity for those who envision a different outcome for the seven acres of land and its historic structures than simply adding some deed restrictions to it and re-selling it to private interests.
“We did give our Town Administrator Bill Gustus the okay to go ahead and do RFPs (requests for proposals). He is in the process of doing that. So that is one option and this will be one of the articles for Town Meeting in the fall,” Selectmen Chairman Dave Nelson said.
However, Nelson acknowledged that at the Special Town Meeting in June it was agreed a future Town Meeting “would make decisions on how that property would be sold or re-used…We did not want to come to Town Meeting with just one article.”
“When we had the opportunity to buy Centre Farm the window was very short. And now here we are, we are going to open the warrant tonight and we will close it in three weeks, so the window is very short,” Nelson said, adding, “If there is anyone who has any other options for that use they need to really consider coming up with what that use is and thinking how they can write an article for Town Meeting.”
Selectman Phil Crawford said, “I think it is fortunate that we have a little bit time to get that forum in place and get some other input. Of course this is just one option for that property and we’ll be able to discuss other options that night.”
Selectmen Tom Terranova said, “I think this forum is a great idea for everybody to come out and express their thoughts, whether they want to sell it or keep it or any variation. Alan (Dresios) had a thought of keeping some of the property for widening the road. This is the time for everybody to come forward with their ideas because if we should sell it, it is too late, so you want to speak and be heard now and that is purpose of the forum.”
Alan Dresios, 64 Bourque Road, and a member of the Planning Board, suggested during the public comment period that the town should consider reviewing the available frontage at Centre Farm to determine if the lot lines can be drawn in such a way that frontage could be gained in the town common area, especially if the rest of the property was eventually sold to private parties again.
Dresios added that there may also be some need or desire on the part of the DPW to acquire some of the land in back that abuts the DPW land and other town properties.