CHARLESTOWN – The Charlestown Town Council voted unanimously in executive session last week to pursue a proposal to purchase the open space known as the Whalerock property.
The site, off King’s Factory Road, is where local developer Lawrence LeBlanc is seeking to erect two 262-foot wind turbines.
The council and town staff drafted a proposed sales agreement in accordance with the town’s policy to acquire the open space, according to Town Administrator Mark Stankiewicz.
Stankiewicz said the agreement includes referring the proposed purchase to the planning, parks and recreation, and conservation commissions, which must approve the purchase.
The town is offering to buy nearly 78 acres of the 82-acre parcel from Brooklyn, Conn.-based N.I.N LLC, the owner of the land, for $2.1 million.
“The current property owner wishes to subdivide out two house lots out of the existing property,” Stankiewicz said after the executive session last Thursday. “The council has heard it and wants to consider purchasing 78 acres instead of 82. The opinion is, is that it is a proposal worthy of their consideration.”
The next step according to both Stankiewicz and Tom Gentz, town council president, is to get advisory opinions from the commissions and to hold a public hearing.
The town plans to hold public hearing on Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Charlestown Elementary School regarding the proposed purchase.
“We want to have a totally open and transparent process so the taxpayers of Charlestown get to voice their opinions,” Gentz said Monday.
He also said that in an effort to be transparent, the town is posting all documents related to the purchase of the open space property on the town’s website, www.charlestownri.org .
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the August 1 issue of the Chariho Times.