Voters resoundingly back land-saving measure

Voters resoundingly back land-saving measure

SUTTON — In a special election yesterday, residents overwhelmingly approved, by a 441-83 vote, a debt exclusion to fund the town’s $280,000 share of the cost to place an agricultural preservation restriction on 314 acres owned by Whittier Farms.

“It’s a significant step to preserving a piece of Sutton’s history,” Town Administrator James A. Smith said. It also brings the town a step closer to solving its cell phone coverage problems. “It’s a win-win,” he said.

After the closing of the APR transaction with the state, the town plans to buy five acres from the Whittier’s for $24,000. The goal is to offset the town’s cost of the restriction with revenue generated by leasing the land to a cell carrier.

— Ruth Vecchione

Thank you to the Whittier Family for offering this gem to the community, to Sutton Town Administrator, James Smith, for heading up this effort, to Sutton Board of Selectman for supporting, and to you Sutton voters who came out for this single ballot item.

I would venture to say that a good portion of Whittier Hill’s 314 acres lie in the 4,288 acres of Manchaug Pond’s watershed. The Manchaug Pond – Watershed Survey conducted for the Manchaug Pond Association (MPA) by Comprehensive Environmental, Inc of Marlboro (CEI) in Spring 2005 notes the importance of land use throughout the watershed and further stresses the need for best management practices by all residents. Land conservation, open space, wildlife corridors is key to the future protection of the lake.

We applaud this partnership between land owner, community and town and state government to preserve this significant property.

Special thanks to our MPA Area 1 photographer for this stunning photo of Saturday morning’s fog on Manchaug Pond.