Preston takes ownership of parcel

Preston - Nearly two years after voters approved purchasing a 28-acre wooded parcel near Amos Lake on Route 164, the town officially took ownership of the land Wednesday.

The Pappalardo family offered to sell a portion of the property to the town as open space for $30,000 and donate the remaining portion to the town in 2011.

In March 2012, residents approved a deal that would preserve 4 acres as open space and allow the town future use of the remaining 24 acres during a town meeting.

But the land transaction was held up when members of the Pappalardo family died at different times, sending the estate into probate court twice.

First Selectman Robert Congdon announced at Thursday's Board of Selectmen meeting that the deed was filed Wednesday in the town clerk's office.

The property at 178 Route 164 abuts the state boat ramp to Amos Lake, and mainly consists of wooded former farmland and wetlands crisscrossed with neatly built stone walls.

Town officials have no immediate plans for the property, Congdon said Thursday, but in the future it could be considered for a new senior center, town hall or other purpose.

The purchase has depleted the remaining funds in the open space account, Selectman Lynwood Crary, a member of the Conservation Commission, said. The fund is replenished through subdivision fees, but with the recent recession, the town has seen little development and few subdivisions in recent years.

c.bessette@theday.com

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