Voters Green Light Lead Mills Purchase

Town Meeting voters unanimously approved the purchase of the Lead Mills property Tuesday night.

Local residents unanimously approved a proposal to purchase the recently rehabilitated property at Town Meeting Tuesday night, paving the way for a new waterfront recreation spot in Marblehead.

If the override is approved in a Special Town Election next month, the 5-acre site, located off of Lafayette Street near the Salem/Marblehead line, would be purchased for approximately $1.6 million.

The proposed land acquisition would be a collaborative purchase between Marblehead and Salem - with Marblehead paying $1.5 million of the total cost.

The majority of the land - about 3.5 acres of it - is in Marblehead. Although it would be deemed conservation land and would be maintained by the Marblehead Conservancy, the proposal allows for "passive recreation."

Appearing before the crowd Tuesday night was Town Planner Becky Curran, who urged town residents to "act quickly" and said the purchase would cost the median single-family household in Marblehead about $10.57 a year over 20 years.

Curran's PowerPoint presentation included computer renderings of what the site would look like if purchased - complete with an open waterfront meadow and a small attached parking lot.

Curran went on to explain how a recently conducted showed that the majority of town residents felt Marblehead didn't offer enough .

Prior to the vote, Curran explained how grant funding from the state could possibly reduce the overall cost of the project by up to $400,000.

Having an updated Open Space and Recreation Plan will help .

How do you feel about the Lead Mills purchase? Let us know by sharing your opinion in our comments section below.

Frank L. McElroy May 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
A brilliant move by Town Meeting.
John May 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I am very hopeful that Marbleheaders will vote to purchase the property. Let's not let another Rockmere(most regrettable), Gerry Island, or Leggs Hill opportunity be lost.
Sharon Thibodeau May 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Passage of Lead Mills for the town, and the Old Town House and Surface Drainage items, will all enhance the "livability" of our beautiful town. The three are in different areas of town and all three are worthy, needed, and deserve to be passed overwhelmingly. The total cost is minimal to the average taxpayer over the long-term.
Ernist Lubivitch May 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM
OPM of course
John Buba May 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Developed, this land will bring in $70,000- $90,000 dollars per year in tax revenue; that amount grows by 2 1/2 percent every year. Also this land is in the middle of a bitter legal dispute between the owner and his investment partner. If the owner is a swindler why should we buy from him? The "bargain price" is well offset by the generous tax credit to the owner for creating public land. There is no benevolence here. So either pay $1.6 million in new taxes (expenses) or receive about $100,000+ per year in new taxes (income) - forever. The choice is clear.
Ron K. Olson June 05, 2012 at 03:16 AM
We live across the street and hope everyone will join us in voting to keep this entry into our town open and green now that the cleanup has been completed. NEVER wanted to see anything built there of any kind because of concerns for the impact on the already horrendous traffic flow. Its not all about the money...
Brisa Del Mar June 05, 2012 at 04:33 AM
So Ron, why dont you buy it and donate to the town?


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