Correction on Lot 71 barn proposal
I was flattered to receive several calls regarding my letter to the editor last week about the potential of using Lot 71 for the DPW faciliy with the possibility of a water line extension up East Shore Road that could increase revenue to the town water system from existing homes with shallow wells.
One caller was so excited he went to the town's Web site to review the lot from the online Plat/ Maps posted by the Planning Office. Unfortunately, he did not see Lot 71 anywhere near the area I described.
Sure enough, with a little research I discovered that recently Lot 71 has been merged with another Rhode Island DOT. property identified as Map 7, Lot 29. Apparently, during the Route 138 project the DOT acquired several lots in the Eldred Avenue area, including one lot rumored to have archeological significance just east of the soccer field.
Apparently, all lots acquired by the state had been retained on our town records under the original plat and lot designations until they were changed a year or so ago. The new Plat/Map indicates Lot 29 as being all inclusive and just over 73 acres. It shows about 85 percent of the land as west of Route 138 along the Eldred Avenue curve, over to North Main Road.
The rest of the lot is east of Route138 at Eldred toward the soccer field and abutting East Shore Road. I guess is there's about 7 to 10 acres in total. Approximately 4 acres, directly south of the soccer field, is the property I wrote about and was formerly listed as Plat 7 Lot 71.
For those who are also town meeting buffs, this property was on the official warrant for acquisition by the town at a financial town meeting three years ago. I believe Town Planner Lisa Bryer proposed that it be used as part of a bike path and possible wellness exercise park. I also recall that the requested funds were approved, but the designated use was to be determined later if the state approved our offer.
Although using the property for biking and an exercise park has merit, chances are, putting our DPW facility there will provide a different type of wellness program that will help to heal our torn community.