SHIRLEY — This isn’t the first time the Board of Selectmen has been on the brink of selling the Barkus property, a 30-acre parcel of town-owned land off Walker Road.
At last year’s Annual Town Meeting, the deal was so close the board counted on it to fund the final month of the town’s health-insurance bill and geared an appropriation article accordingly. At that time, the land had been appraised at $650,000, said Selectmen Chairman Leonardo “Chip” Guercio.
Now, Jonas Angus, who owns a large, warehouse-style modular building at the corner of Patterson and Ayer roads, wants to buy the Barkus land and build a “clean” business on it, said Selectman Enrico Cappucci.
Angus plans to sell bottled water at the site, said Water Commissioner Richard Hatch, who’s been working with Angus to broker the deal.
Neither he nor Cappucci knew what kind of business goes on in the existing building Angus owns, but they agreed selling the land to him is a good idea.
“I don’t know what the value is now,” Cappucci said at the April 28 selectmen’s meeting.
He proposed placing an article on the June Annual Town Meeting warrant to sell the land. Though voters passed a similar article last year, another needs to pass because the land didn’t sell.
Now, the appraisal, which cost the town $15,000, is a year old.
Guercio said he’s reluctant to resubmit the article with changes because of the conditions attached.
Rather than re-frame the same article, town administrator Kyle Keady said it should be written again, covering the same bases. He agreed to get the old article to ensure the new one will be properly worded.
The selectmen voted unanimously to hire the same appraiser who priced the property last time to provide an update, which Keady said costs only $3,500, and tap the MCI prison mitigation account for the money.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to approve two driveway permits, one for 1 Cottage St. and another for Walker Road, and a road cut for Earth Solutions to pipe water service to its location on Walker Road. All three proposals have orders of conditions attached.