SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The South Kingstown Town Council granted $50,000 plus an additional $19,500 for fees to the South Kingstown Land Trust at Monday night’s meeting, providing the Land Trust with the means to purchase the development rights to more than 14 acres of Browning Farm in Matunuck.
The motion passed 4-0-0 with one recusal, as Councilman Jim O’Neill Councilman Jim O’Neill recused himself from the discussion and vote on the issue, which he has done at previous meetings.
O’Neill’s recusual stemmed from his involvement in attempting to sell the property as the broker/owner of Coastal Properties. He also formally relinquished all interest in commissions and fees stemming from the sale of the property June 9.
“Hopefully this recusual and disclosure will eliminate any appearance of impropriety,” O’Neill said.
Council chambers were filled for the public hearing regarding the Browning Farm acquisition.
Attorney Jim Aukerman appeared on behalf of the South Kingstown Land Trust. Aukerman is also the owner of Resources Stewardship Company, a real estate exchange firm, which helped facilitate the transaction.
“When the opportunity came up after Browning passed away to acquire the development rights to Browning Farm the Land Trust stepped up and started to proceed with the process of buying those development rights,” Aukerman said.
For the complete story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's The Narragansett Times.