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Short Takes: Mosquito Control; Hayes Property

Central Mass Mosquito Control Project
The Groton Board of Health submitted an article to be included in the 2020 Spring Town Meeting warrant seeking $90K per year to join the Central Mass Mosquito Control Project. A three-year commitment to the program is required by the state. This request is based on concerns expressed to the Board of Health by residents regarding mosquito borne EEE.
Mosquito control efforts in Central Massachusetts are managed and run by the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP). Groton had been a member in the past, but in 2014 the town voted against joining for a three-year period at a total cost of $219K.
     According to the Board of Health information on the town’s website as of September 25th, 2019, 10 human cases of EEE and 9 cases of WNV have been reported and there have been 3 related deaths in the state. As a result, several Groton residents have contacted the Board of Health asking (in essence) what The Board of Health is doing about this. As of October 9th, 2019, Groton is designated a low risk area.
Town Manager Mark Haddad asked the Select Board to request that the Board of Health “withdraw the proposed article as $90K will have a huge impact on the budget. The timing of this is bad regarding the budget.”
Select Board member John Giger stressed that “Boards and Committees need to work together collaboratively so there are no surprises.”
Hayes Property 61A
     Following the recommendation of the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board, the Select Board voted to decline the First Right of Refusal to purchase the Chapter 61A agricultural property known as the Hayes Farm on Hill Road and Maple Avenue.
     The 89.6-acre farm will be sold by Hayes Family Realty Trust to developer Robert Kiley, trustee of Regulas Realty Trust, who, according to his Attorney Robert Collins, will gift 60 acres of the land to the Town. Limited development design at the site would create 24 lots on approximately 27 acres, preserving 59 acres of upland and resource areas suitable for habitat for several species.
     Both the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission sent letters to the Select Board stating that the $1,730,000 purchase price for the property was prohibitive for the town.
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