When talk of Brox started, way back

To the Editor:

The purchase of the Brox lands by the people of Milford was accom­plished by passing War­rant Article 3 in year 2000.

The Town’s promo­tional handout of Article 3 states that we would buy the 270 acres to have uses that place no tax burden on residents that would include – industry, community needs, AND "preservation of environ­mentally sensitive lands for open space and con­servation."

It is that third prong that the Board of Selectmen is treating as if it does not exist, even though it has been stated in our Master Plan since 1999 that the Town should "Work with conservation groups, in­cluding the Milford Con­servation Commission, to preserve and protect the significant wetlands, sur­face waters, and natural areas located on the prop­erty."

Unlike industrial land or community land, "con­servation" has no bound­ary but rather, overlays all land. It applies to the 93 acres that the Select­men are trying to sell.

The Conservation Com­mission (CC) has done its due diligence by com­missioning a Natural Re­sources Inventory (NRI) that the Cabinet reported about in "Brox North Val­ue Cited" published June 4, 2015. The NRI found that the north land (zoned industrial), is ecologically sensitive and stated its best use would be conser­vation. On May 26th the CC Chair Audrey Fraizer recommended to the Se­lectmen that they allow the land to be bought for conservation. The CC did its statutorily-required job which is to inform the town of the proper utiliza­tion of natural resources. It’s up to the leaders to value the advice.

Apparently not de­terred by the powerful argument made for con­servation, the Selectmen proceeded with negotia­tions to sell 93 acres of poor quality industrial land and did so while tell­ing the CC Chair on May 26th that there were no negotiations. Later, how­ever, on July 27th, the BOS Chair Mark Fougere re­vealed that the BOS had indeed been in negotia­tions with a potential buy­er since fall of 2014. These two representations are contradictory.

People expect better from government. We ex­pect transparency and honesty. We want respect for our Conservation Com­mission and the conser­vation values for which it stands.

The 93 acres referred to as "industrial" on paper, are really best-suited for conservation because they are very much populated by forest­ed wetlands, floodplains, streams, vernal pools and beaver ponds, mak­ing them very low quality industrial land, but great conservation land.

It is time that the Se­lectmen listen to the mes­sage of conservation as promised in Article 3 in Year 2000 and built into our Master Plan.

SUZANNE FOURNIER

Coordinator

Brox Environmental Citizens

Milford