Ledyard — A handful of residents voted unanimously to purchase about 20 acres of property adjacent to the Naval Submarine Base at a town meeting Wednesday night.
The town had received a grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development to purchase the property, owned by Frederick J. Volpe of Oxford, for $167,500 ahead of the next Base Closure and Realignment Commission study. BRAC aims to eliminate unnecessary Department of Defense properties around the country.
In purchasing the property around the sub base, located on Route 12 in Gales Ferry, the town and the state will maintain the property as open space to increase the size of the base’s encroachment zone — a land buffer around the base property.
The 2005 BRAC report, the last one released, recommended that the sub base in Groton be realigned by consolidating the northeast Navy region with the mid-Atlantic Navy region. The next BRAC study is scheduled for 2015.
The Town Council held a public hearing and town meeting prior to their own meeting to address the property purchase, which must be put to a resident vote before being adopted by council members.
Ledyard resident and former mayor Fred Allyn spoke in favor of the purchase as a protective measure for the sub base.
“Anything that we can do to make the base a little less subject to being closed is a good thing,” he said.