I would like to address Article 19, which is to be considered at the upcoming Town Meeting. Article 19 concerns the selling of town land on Williams Hollow Way with the objective of rehabilitating a long-abandoned house for affordable housing.
This land was purchased in 1987 for the purpose of “water protection and/or other municipal uses.” The primary purpose for this property has always been water protection. This land is part of one of only two town-owned sites that can support future wells. With the ever-increasing need for water in Falmouth, it does not make sense to sell one of the few locations where a well can be located.
When the land was purchased there was an abandoned house on the property. It is this house, unused for almost 40 years, that is being proposed for affordable housing. The estimated cost to perform the work necessary to make the small (well under 1,000 square feet) summer house habitable year-round is estimated to be at least $250,000, with $65,000 provided by the Falmouth Housing Trust. This seems to me to be a lot of money for such a small house.
Before spending that much money on a property, I’d like to see a floor plan for the finished project. The house is quite small and the layout is not conducive to more than two very small bedrooms and an extremely small kitchen.
At last November’s Town Meeting, money was voted to be used to take down the house, but that has not happened. When the land was first purchased by the town, more than one person approached the town about buying the house but each was told that it was the intention of the town to tear down the house. It’s time that happened.
I urge Town Meeting members to reject Article 19 and to urge the town to tear down the house as has been the town’s intention from day one.
Thomas E. Weaver
Sam Turner Road