ADAMS -- The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has struck up a land-purchase deal in town that will see some municipal benefits, according to town officials.
DCR has asked for, and received by a unanimous Selectmen's vote at last week's meeting, an expedited sale of the 394-acre Fritz property, located off East Mountain Road.
The vote effectively waived a 120-day waiting period before the sale dictated by state law.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said DCR's purchase will better preserve the swath's forests, alleviate town liability associated with the property and net some funds for the town. At the closing date, over $80,000 in back taxes will be recouped by the town. A payment in lieu of taxes arrangement with the state is also expected to be arranged.
"There aren't really any negatives," Butler said.
Town counsel Edmund St. John IV also spoke of the property at the meeting, expressing familiarity with a long history of litigation attached to the swath -- a former wood lot known as the Fritz property.
St. John said of the property, "I'm more than happy to see that DCR has come into the picture."
"The [positives] that come out of this is it relieves the town of a historically long-standing liability to provide access to the site," St. John said.
The land will be added to the Savoy Mountain State Forest.
Wednesday's meeting also saw the announcement of additional financial good news for the town, with Butler reporting that the town has accepted an unexpectedly low bid for the long-planned Tophet Brook dredging project.
RC & D Inc. of Rhode Island won the bid at $295,000. The project's estimated cost was $500,000, and the high end of the five bids received by the town for this work was $800,000. Butler said the project will begin within the next two weeks.