Deerfield voters opt to buy back parcel sold to New England Natural Bakers

Staff Writer
Published: 10/2/2019 5:54:23 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Voters at Monday’s Special Town Meeting adopted nearly every warrant article, including one allowing the town to buy back a 9.2-acre parcel of land.

About 60 people convened at Deerfield Town Offices to have their say on nine articles, though the Selectboard decided to at least temporarily rescind the one asking residents to raise and appropriate money for the required cash match for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Round 4 grant award received by the town from the state. Selectboard member Carolyn Shores Ness, who at the board meeting preceding special town meeting had first proposed taking no action on the article, told those in attendance the amount required was not yet known.

Ness said there are new rounds of funding every few months and Deerfield is “one of a handful of communities in the entire state that’s been funded so far every round.” She said the grant money, if needed, would go toward new tanks at the South Deerfield Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Residents gave their blessing to buying back from New England Natural Bakers a 9.2-acre land parcel that was once part of the former Oxford Pickle site. New England Natural Bakers purchased the land about a year and a half ago for $357,280 with plans to expand, but eventually reversed its decision. Special Town Meeting voters authorized the town to purchase the parcel for the price it had been sold for.

“I am so excited to have a high turnout for our fall town meeting,” Selectboard Chair Trevor McDaniel said of the evening’s participation. “It’s great to see the public getting more involved in the business of the town and having their voice heard in the important decisions of the town.”

Despite tabling one grant funding article, voters opted to raise and appropriate the $78,056 partial match required from the town as part of a roughly $380,000 state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Round 3 grant to pay for the construction of new culverts across from Frontier Regional School and off of Mill Village Road. McDaniel previously told The Recorder both existing culverts have fallen into disrepair.

Residents also voted to raise and appropriate $8,000 for matching funds for a 2018 Emergency Management Preparedness Grant to purchase electronic signboard for town-wide announcements. They also opted to establish a special fund for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of Deerfield’s incorporation.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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