CHARLESTOWN — Last Thursday, the Charlestown Town Council voted in favor of a resolution to acquire a 75-acre property known as “Whalerock” and to keep it as open space. With more than 150 residents attending the hearing held at Charlestown Elementary School, there was strong public support for the purchase.
Town Council President Thomas Gentz presented a detailed slide show of the sales agreement that included maps of the site located north of Route One between King’s Factory Road and East Quail Run.
The town will pay $2.1 million for the land, which will be funded by a $2 million bond that was previously approved by taxpayer referendum for acquiring open space and $114,000 in remaining open space bond proceeds. The bond will increase the tax rate by eight cents per $1,000 valuation for 20 years, which translates to an additional $25 per year for a $300,000 house.
The plan includes obtaining conservation easements on the property to maintain it as open space in perpetuity through organizations such as the Charlestown Land Trust or The Audubon Society.
Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero said that if the town owns the property and sells the conservation easement to a group such as the Nature Conservancy, then the land can’t be sold without that restriction.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the August 29 issue of the Chariho Times.