Mendon Town Meeting approves massive land purchase Votes to purchase 60 acres on Providence Street
By Scott Calzolaio
The Community Preservation Commission stole the show at this year’s Mendon Annual Town Meeting, hosting almost every warrant article aside from budget items.
One article stood out amongst the others: Article 29 which proposed the town purchase two lots covering roughly 60 acres. The article proposed transferring $990,000 to Community Preservation Accounts to purchase 73 and 75 Providence Street, also known as the “Paddock Property.”
To make the purchase, it was proposed to transfer $200,000 from the “Community Preservation Open Space” account and $790,000 from the “Community Reservation Budgeted Reserve” account. After the purchase, the town-owned land would be considered approved Community Preservation Act (CPA) land, usable for open space, affordable housing, and/or recreational purposes.
CPC Chairperson Anne Mazar said the alternative to making this purchase would be to leave it on the market for a developer to likely snatch up. “If a developer did end up buying it, you don’t know who could end up with it…And the town would be losing some open spaces, and history.”
The plot of land is currently home to a few beloved locations and local landmarks, such as the 100-year-old red barn on that property. With the town’s ownership of the property, places like the barn could be preserved, or even repurposed into affordable housing, Mazer said.
The first 17 articles, put forward by the Select Board, all passed by a majority vote. These articles dealt with the transfer of funds, the passing of the town budget for 2024, other financial matters pertinent to the operation of the municipality, and funds for engineering desk work for the senior center expansion.
Article 18 was passed over. The article’s intention was to add two voting members to the zoning board, increasing the board to five members. The article was passed over because bylaws need to be amended in order to increase enrollment on the board. To change the bylaws, a public hearing must first take place.
Article 25, to fund the costs to install field lights at Pezzella and Lowell fields, was also approved.
To see a description of all the town’s warrant articles, visit bit.ly/MendonATM2023warrant. To watch the meeting in its entirety, visit bit.ly/MendonATM2023recording