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Mayor waits for council’s OK to put in Lunt bid

GREENFIELD — It could be up to a month before the mayor knows whether he can put a bid in for part of the former Lunt Silversmith property on Federal Street.

Town Council will have to approve the mayor’s request for Greenfield to purchase 6.62 acres of the 11-acre property, which includes the ball fields, for $660,000.

The town would also conduct a “friendly taking” of the contaminated factory, because the owner is currently in Bankruptcy Court and owes about $275,000 in back taxes.

Mayor William Martin said that after more than three years, the owner of the property accepted the town’s offer of $660,000 for the 6.62 acres.

That means the ball fields would not be touched and could be expanded eventually.

Franklin County Register of Deeds Scott Cote, who coaches a Little League team that plays on the fields, said they’ve been in use for more than 50 years and they need to be preserved.

“Those fields are pretty important to the town,” said Cote. “We need to keep our kids on those fields, keep them productive.”

Martin said the contract he signed with Lunt on Wednesday is contingent upon the council’s and court’s approval.

If the council approves the purchase, the town will need to put down a $75,000 deposit.

The town had originally agreed to pay $1.5 million for the entire property, including a retail building located at the Federal Street end of the property, but when that purchase agreement expired in March 2013, after the town had leased the property for two years with the intention to buy it, Greenfield lost control of it and negotiations have continued since.

Martin said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to do the cleanup of the contaminated property. He said he is not sure when it will happen, but it will.

The mayor said the retail building on the Federal Street end of the property will be marketed separately by the owner.

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