By ANDY KIRKALDY
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh selectmen on Sept. 5 appointed a committee to study for the second time whether the town should buy a key parcel that abuts both the Ferrisburgh Central School and the planned site of a new town office building and meeting center.
The land, owned by the Hinsdale family of Charlotte, was until recently optioned by a company that wanted to extend sewer service into the area, a plan rejected last month by selectmen at the recommendation of town planners.
The parcel includes 32 acres on which the town already owns a septic easement for the school and planned town hall, plus a smaller lot with a home on it. Now that it is back on the market, selectmen have decided to take another look at buying it. The town first discussed the idea a year ago and another committee looked at the proposal, but officials never acted on it.
Selectboard Chairman Larry Simino said late during the week of the Sept. 5 that the committee this time will make a specific recommendation in “a couple of weeks” on whether to spend $600,000 on the 32 acres, for which the town already has approved a nine-lot subdivision, or $750,000 for the entire piece. Board minutes describe those prices as “preliminary.”
Simino said later in the week that the land could provide future expansion and parking space for the school and town office buildings, and that many residents believe some or all of it could be used to provide amenities or improvements — parks, playing fields, or even different types of private development — that could enhance the village in that area, which many consider an important town center.
Simino also noted that the town could probably recoup its investment in the future by selling some of the land to be developed.
“If all else fails we could always sell off lots,” he said.