Selectmen given go-ahead to purchase Blue Jay property
BY KEVIN KOCZWARA
Narrowly getting the two-thirds vote needed, the residents of Sutton voted to authorize the Board of Selectmen to acquire the vacant land at 389 Central Turnpike, 58-25. The plot of land is where the Blue Jay Restaurant use to be and is now a vacant lot.
Article 13, the last article to be voted on, was the most contentious article at Town Meeting. Arguments were made for both the purchase of the land and for the money to be used somewhere else.
Ronald Campbell of Putnam Hill Road came to the Board of Selectmen with questions regarding the cost of making the land at the Blue Jay viable, specifically for a Police Station, which the board and the Town Administrator both admitted would be one of the things the land could be used for the in the future. Campbell said the land would be expensive to make usable for a new building because of the septic system there and the way the land is laid out.
Perry King of Uxbridge Road had similar concerns with the site and said the money being used to purchase the land, about $110,000, could be better used in the school system, which will go into the next fiscal year with no money left in its piggy-bank.
According to Town Administrator Jim Smith, the land on Central Turnpike does not need to be used for a new police station, although a new station is needed and the location is central in town. The land is being bought because it is a vacant lot and no one will buy it because, according to the board of selectmen, the land is not zoned for commercial use and too expensive to build on for a home builder.
Both Ken Stuart and John Hebert, selectmen members, spoke in favor of purchasing the land for a cut price and sitting on it if a police station is not deemed financially feasible.
“It makes sense to buy this land and clean it up,” said Stuart.
Hebert and Sutton Police Chief Dennis Towle both spoke about the need for a new police station in town. Hebert, who was the chief before Towle, talked about the limited space in the station and how that was fine 20-plus years ago, but it didn’t work now. Towle even offered giving people a tour of the police station if they didn’t believe how tight a squeeze it was.
Eventually the Article came to a vote and narrowly passed with the twothirds majority needed.
The other 12 Articles, including the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, passed without any trogment-->