To the editor:
On June 11, the voters of China will vote on whether or not to authorize the select board “to purchase a portion of the property at Map 38, Lot 15, including all costs, not to exceed $150,000….” The portion of the property consists of five acres with frontage on China Lake.
I am a strong proponent of preserving open space and public ownership of land to preserve it for current and future generations. As a 30-plus-year resident of China, and as a voter and taxpayer, this sounds like a great deal and one which I would normally support.
In this case, however, offering the owner of the property up to $150,000 may be a great deal for the town, but it may be a bad deal for the property owner. It’s important for the voters to know that the $150,000 figure came from a tax assessment of the property. There has been no property appraisal. The property may be worth less or it may be worth much more. I suspect it is the latter.
I believe that the town of China should have bought and paid for a property appraisal before putting this to voters. Only in this way would we know what the property is really worth and what we should pay for it. If the voters of China vote the purchase down, this is all a moot point. If the voters of China vote YES, I hope that the town pays for an appraisal and has another vote in November if value of the property exceeds $150,000. I also hope and expect the town of China to not pay the owner more or less than the property is worth.
John M. Glowa, Sr.
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