By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – An anonymous donor stepped forward March 28 to provide the town with the $5,000 the current owners of White Cliffs have asked for to bridge the time before voters can decide at the April 25 Town Meeting (TM ) whether to spend $2.4 million to buy and preserve the property.
Town Manager John Coderre said the town was in a bind after the Community Preservation Committee voted to advance the purchase of the iconic property to Town Meeting because the LaCava family had asked for $5,000 a month to hold the property from sale or further demolition.
Without an appropriation in the current year’s budget, however, the town had no mechanism to fulfill that request, Coderre said.
But that changed March 28, when a donor who Coderre said wishes to remain anonymous came forward to gift the funds to the town.
At its March 28 meeting, the Board of Selectmen voted to create a White Cliffs Preservation Donation Fund and accept the $5,000 gift. The board also authorized Coderre to work on a legal agreement with the current owners of White Cliffs that will cease ongoing demolition and removal work and to assure the town has access to the property to continue evaluating it in the weeks leading up to TM.
“This will get us to the point where we can proceed to Town Meeting,” Coderre said.
Earlier in the meeting, the selectmen voted to finalize the warrant for the TM. The last of 42 articles seeks voter approval for $2.4 million in Community Preservation Act funds to purchase the building and the 6.5 acres it sits on and to preserve and protect it until future uses can be identified.