Poland voters approve land purchase

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POLAND — Voters at Saturday’s special town meeting authorized selectmen to buy the 32-acre Furman property using money donated to the town for that purpose.

“The fact that about one hundred and fifty people showed up on a stormy Saturday morning tells you something,” Fred Huntress said. “I’d say the vote was pretty much unanimous.”

Huntress, co-chairman with Don Stover of the Conservation Commission, had helped spearhead the fundraising campaign that brought in the $32,800 needed to buy the property in less than six weeks.

The matter was taken to a special town meeting because the owner of the property, Jennifer Furman, wanted the deal consummated prior to the end of the calendar year.

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With the use of a map that covered the area from White Oak Hill Road to Tripp Lake Road, Huntress described his vision for some 2.2 miles of hiking trails that could extend from behind the Ricker Library, adjacent to the Town Hall, to the Transfer Station on Tripp Lake Road on what will be a 125-acre block of town-owned land, once papers are signed for the Furman property.

“The Furman lot has a fine grove of white oaks, my favorite tree, and a small swamp that turns into a brook,” Huntress said. “There’s a nice vernal pool on the Transfer Station lot.”

Commenting after the meeting, Stover said he was most thankful for the assistance they received from folks at the Town Office and that the support from townspeople, especially from those who went out of their way to summon up the quorum and the 62 people who made financial donations, was “impressive and really gratifying.”

Voters also approved two articles that made amendments to the town’s comprehensive land-use code. The first set standards for accessory apartments and accessory residential structures. The second amended street construction standards to allow for cul-de-sac and hammerhead turnarounds.

It took moderator Ed Rabasco less than 45 minutes to lead folks through the four-article warrant.

Town Clerk Judith Akers, noting that attendance in the past two years for the regular annual town meeting wasn’t much over the 100 required for a quorum, confirmed that 151 registered voters signed in to Saturday’s special town meeting.

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