Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'll Drink To That

Hills Reservoir, Pelham

Amherst Town Meeting will be asked to spend $170,500 (if a matching state grant is approved) from the water/sewer fund to purchase 141 acres of woodland in Pelham owned by Bob Romer for protection of our drinking water supply.

The land, aka Romer Woods, is currently appraised at $455,000 -- mainly because two house lots could be carved out of it.  The land is currently in the state's Chapter 61 program with numerous unmarked trails throughout.

Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek told the Water Supply Protection Committee last week that Mr. Romer is a "very willing seller who wants the property protected."

And even with the tax break Mr. Romer will get for allowing the town a steep discount, it still would not make up for the $105,000 he is taking off the appraised value.

Hills Reservoir is one of seven bodies of water Amherst uses for its drinking supply.   The town currently has 2,662 acres of land set aside as "watershed protection" and of that 1,537 acres are in Pelham. 


Anonymous said...

Could this impact the hiking trails that border Hills?

Anonymous said...

Unlike land acquisitions within our town, this would not take revenue of Amherst's books. So it is less heinous than most of these.

Larry Kelley said...

True. Although the property is in Chapter 61 so it doesn't pay much at all in taxes now (to Pelham).

Anon 2:00 PM
I doubt it will impact hiking trails. The town does not encourage passive recreation on watershed land, but they do not have people arrested either.

Anonymous said...

It's a no-brainer to buy this land from Professor Romer - almost bought it myself 25 years ago, and would be doing the same thing now had I done that! Protecting the quality of our "raw" water is a lot cheaper than having to "clean it up" later. Many thanks to Bob for offering your land to the Town!