Westborough announces state hospital land price tag
By Chris Kopacko, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Board of Selectmen approved a proposal during its Aug.13 meeting for the town to purchase the Westborough State Hospital property for $2.2 million. Before the deal can go through, the decision must next be approved by the voters at the October Town Meeting. The vote came on the heels of the first public announcement of the agreed upon price of the land between the town and the state, who have been in negotiations over the 95-acre property for approximately two years.
The agreement would allow the town to finance the $2.2 million purchase over a ten-year period at zero percent interest. Once the town begins to redevelop and resell the property however, 50 percent of the net proceeds must go back to the commonwealth.
According to Town Manager Jim Malloy, incentives exist within the agreement that would allow those proceeds to go down to 30 percent, such as time of sale, market study and expedited permitting. There will be no restrictions on how the town may develop the property.
“The plan is to subdivide off the soccer fields for the town to continue owning the fields and selling off the remainder for commercial/industrial uses or residential uses (over 55) that would have no potential impact on the schools,” Malloy said.
Selectman Leigh Emery said she was surprised the town was able to strike a deal with the commonwealth that was affordable.
“It’s a huge piece of property and we’re going to protect ourselves. It’s absolutely fantastic,” she said.
Selectman George Barrette praised Malloy for his work in finding what he called “a very fair deal” with “the most attractive terms we could negotiate.”
The board voted 4-0 in favor of purchasing the property, with Selectman Timothy Dodd abstaining.
Voters will have the chance to hear more on the proposal before the Town Meeting and offer their input during two public meetings that will be held Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Sept. 17, both starting at 6 p.m. in the Westborough High School auditorium.
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