Crystal Lake Eminent Domain Purchase: Statement by Ward 6 Aldermen

Statement of Ward 6 Aldermen Regarding 20 Rogers St. Acquisition
February 27, 2007

For more than two years, we have been working to acquire the 20 Rogers St. property on Crystal Lake for use by the public as part of an expanded beach area and public park. We have worked with the Administration and with members of the public to generate interest in the idea and have researched the legal and financial procedures and requirements for carrying out the acquisition.

Throughout this process, it has been our hope that the City would be able to agree with the property’s owner, Pat Hannon, regarding an acceptable price. Unfortunately, no such agreement has been reached. While we are very disappointed with the failure to negotiate an agreement for the acquisition of the property and would prefer to avoid a court battle over the property’s value, we strongly support all efforts that will help to achieve the acquisition of the property by the City.

We urge the Community Preservation Committee to initiate an appropriation of CPA funds for an amount that they deem to be a fair price for the acquisition of the property and we ask our colleagues to approve that request. It is our hope that the CPC will recommend an amount agreeable to Mr. Hannon as representing the fair market value of his property. However, should the appropriation not be deemed by Mr. Hannon to represent fair market value for the property, we intend to support the Mayor’s request to take the property using the City’s eminent domain powers and will urge our colleagues on the Board of Aldermen to do so, as well.

We further request that the Mayor initiate an appropriation from non-CPA sources for the improvement of the property once it is acquired, including making improvements to the Gil Champagne Bath House and parking lot that will improve public access to the site and address environmental concerns.

Ken Parker
George Mansfield
Victoria Danberg
Ward 6 Newton Aldermen