Naples lot clearing: ‘No conspiracy’

HEAVY MACHINERY stands still after Chaplin Logging cleared the lot, which was purchased by the Town of Naples last autumn. The lot may be used for storing vehicles and parking. However, there are no construction projects on the horizon, according to Town Manager Emphrem Paraschak. (De Busk Photo)

HEAVY MACHINERY stands still after Chaplin Logging cleared the lot, which was purchased by the Town of Naples last autumn. The lot may be used for storing vehicles and parking. However, there are no construction projects on the horizon, according to Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — A logging crew has cleared the town-owned lot next to the Naples Fire and Rescue Station.

Currently, viable logs are being loaded onto trucks and sold to a local buyer.

However, other than cleaning up the land that was purchased from the Begin estate last fall, no construction will be taking place, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

“We would like to see the property improved,” he said.

“We are not building a new fire station or a public works department. There is no conspiracy going on,” he said for the benefit of the public during Monday’s Naples Board of Selectmen meeting.

Still, the activity has triggered the public’s curiosity, and almost caused a few fender-benders.

“It is amazing how many cars almost run into each other,” he said, advising people to pull into the fire station parking lot to get a better view of the operation.

“The objective was to clear the front lot,” he said.

Chaplin Logging, which is based in Naples, has been doing the work, he said.
He did not yet know how much money might be generated from sale of the timber.

“It depends on what is harvested. You get a ball park figure,” he said.

The revenue “might go back to general fund, or (toward) making improvements to the property,” he said.

Regardless of where in the budget the timber sales revenue is placed, the residents will have a say-so, he said.

“It will have to be a Town Meeting matter,” Paraschak said.

“We may go out to bid to find out how much to stump the lot and clean it up,” he said.

“We want to make it look pretty,” he said.

The town purchased the Begin estate for $180,000 in the autumn last year.

The land deal was one solution to end litigation over salt in the well of the Begin estate.

The structure on the property was turned over to the fire department for burn trainings, which lasted for a few months. The building was burned and the debris removed around Thanksgiving.

When the land purchase was originally discussed, selectmen favored selling another piece of town-owned property to offset the cost.

For now, that option in not on the horizon.

“To sell a property the town has owned for many years is a complicated process, and it requires a Town Meeting,” Paraschak said.

At a later date, the town will be doing selective timber harvesting on the forested area behind the fire station.

It will continue to remain forested because during the timber harvest process, only mature growth will be removed, he said.

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