Park acceptance to voters

By Lisa Williams Ackley
Staff Writer

A public hearing was held Tuesday night on the proposed acceptance by townspeople of the 66-acre Pondicherry Park.

Referring to previous discussions between the selectmen and representatives from Loon Echo Land Trust and Lakes Environmental Association, Selectmen Chairman Arthur Triglione Sr. said, “The board has basically agreed with the documents they submitted — there are just a couple of small points (that need to be finalized).”

The makeup of the Pondicherry Park Stewardship Committee “still needs to be worked through,” according to Town Manager Mitch Berkowitz.

Should voters approve accepting Pondicherry Park at the polls on Nov. 8, the board of selectmen will have time over the winter — there is a June, 2012 deadline to complete the unfinished details — and workshops will be held to allow for even more public input.

LEA Executive Director Peter Lowell said the map detailing the easement is available to view online, and Berkowitz, who has been away for a week, said it will also be posted on the town’s website, if it hasn’t been already.

Responding to a suggestion that perhaps the public’s vote could be postponed until next June, when all of the details have been worked out, Chairman Triglione stated, “I think they’ve put a lot of work and effort into it and I feel we should bring it to voters and get a vote on it.”

LELT Director Carrie Walia pointed out that her organization has already expended between $2,000 and $2,500 on the draft language of the easement done by a lawyer.

“We need to know if voters approve it, in concept — which is a legal document with public input,” Walia said.

“I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who say, ‘Yes, we really want it — do what you can to get it done,’” said Selectman Woody Woodward. “I guess what it comes down to is, if people really want Pondicherry Park, will they trust their public officials (the selectmen) to do the work on the final details.”

Lowell invited the public to attend Neon Night at Pondicherry Park on the night of Oct. 21.

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