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Town voters will decide whether or not to spend $3 million towards purchase of the 930 acres known as The Preserve at referendum on Tuesday, July 8 from noon until 8 p.m. Voting will take place in the Old Saybrook High School gymnasium.
Individuals registered to vote in Old Saybrook and property owners who are U.S. citizens and have $1,000 or more of assessed property on the town's tax rolls are eligible to vote in the July 8 referendum.
A purchase agreement negotiated between the Trust for Public Land (TPL, the non-profit that paid for the option to buy 1,000 acres from River Sound Development/Lehman Brothers), the State of Connecticut, and the Town of Old Saybrook for the 930 acres in Old Saybroook (926 acres) and Westbrook (4 acres) would make the state and town co-owners of the property.
If the town approves the $3 million purchase contribution, TPL will convey to the Old Saybrook Land Trust a conservation easement protecting The Preserve land co-owned by town and state as open space in perpetuity.
Under the overall Preserve purchase plan proposed by Gov. Dannel Malloy in April and confirmed by a vote of the Legislature, the state agreed to contribute $3.3 million, the Town of Old Saybrook $3 million, and the Town of Essex $690,000 towards the $8.09 million purchase price for the thousand acres that straddles three towns. TPL has committed to provide $1.9 million toward the deal.