Imagine if we could save the last four acres with 750 feet of shoreline on the West Reservoir to protect the Herring River and wildlife as well as complete a future walking trail loop. Arthur H. Hall, Sr. (son of John E. Hall and Eleanor R. Hall), his wife Carolyn C. Hall, and their sons, Arthur H. Hall, Jr., Alan J. Hall, and Aaron L. Hall share that vision and have agreed to sell their four waterfront acres to the Town for $630,000. The Town’s Community Preservation Committee, which reviews and recommends spending initiatives using local Community Preservation Act funds, unanimously supported the project with warrant Article #33, which was unanimously approved by voters at the Spring Town Meeting on May 4th. Town Meeting voters have thereby enabled the purchase of this land with its ecologically strategic location along the waterway which serves as the liquid highway for migrating herring each spring.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds are derived from a 3% tax on every property owner’s real estate tax bill. This is a dedicated source of funding, separate from the general municipal funds that pay for schools, emergency services, roadways and other town needs. Everyone benefits from CPA funded open space purchases like this one that can help protect water quality. For example, removing the potential for development helps save taxpayers wastewater treatment costs long-term since the land is within the Herring River Watershed, which is already suffering from too much nitrogen caused by too many houses.
In addition, preserving the land will extinguish four houses from being built on the shoreline which means the natural scenic view around the West Reservoir will be preserved forever. West Reservoir and the Herring River are popular destinations for kayakers and fishermen while the forested trails around the reservoir attract hikers, joggers, and birdwatchers. In addition, the Hall family is making a donation. They are relinquishing their extensive rights of use to more than two miles of wooded cart paths throughout the 200-acre Bell’s Neck Town Conservation Lands.
The property is bordered by the Bell’s Neck Town Conservation Lands on the south and the Cape Cod Rail Trail bikepath on the north. The bike path overlooks the four acres and it’s estimated that 400,000 people travel the bike path annually. Donations to HCT will help us pay for project costs like a land survey, drafting a conservation restriction, and other related expenses. The Town will apply for a $327,600 state grant to help offset costs.