Town mulls land gift
Milford may receive 28 acres on riverfront
MILFORD – Town officials are considering whether to accept a gift of riverside land across from the Pine Valley Mill.
Mark Prolman and Eli Levine sold the eastern portion of the 28-acre property to Matthew Ciardelli and MAC Milford Realty, and Ciardelli will build self-storage units there, across Wilton Road from the mill complex. Prolman and Levine want the town to take the rest of the property, about 17 acres.
Prolman and Levine were at a joint meeting of the Planning Board and Conservation Commission last week, and Prolman indicated they are anxious to give up ownership of the property before the end of the year.
But the boards are taking their time, concerned about possible contamination, as well as access over the railroad tracks and whether the town could eventually build some kind of structure on the property.
Prolman also said that along with 2,000 feet of Souhegan River frontage, ownership would give the town access to about 60,000 cylinder yards of sand and gravel.
"What’s really the downside?" said Tim Finan, of the Planning Board. "I don’t see a reason not to support. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the railroad will not be there in 50 years. Then it will be a very valuable piece of land."
But other officials were concerned about possible pollution from debris that was apparently cleaned from the site decades ago and the historic difficulty of dealing with the railroad company, now known as Pan Am Railways.
"We don’t want to take on any of Mr. Prolman’s responsibilities," said Paul Amato, of the Conservation Commission.
The donation would come with access easement rights over the lot where six self-storage buildings will be located, said attorney Andrew Prolman, who represented Levine and Mark Prolman.
Prolman and Levine acquired the land in 2009 along with the Pine Valley Mill across the road. Dakota Partners converted much of the 19th-century building into affordable apartments, and an 8-foot pipe called a penstock that runs under Wilton Road from the river dam supplies the water for supplemental power to the mill.
The boards’ questions will go to the town attorney for review. The Board of Selectmen has the final say on the land acquisition.