City seeks proposals for forestland in Pownal

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POWNAL — The city of North Adams, Mass., has issued a request for proposals for the disposition of 218 acres of mostly forested land in Pownal that was part of a former city watershed area.

The land is located adjacent to the Williamstown, Mass., border and can be accessed by White Oaks Road from that direction. The land, in several contiguous parcels extending south to north from the Williamstown border, is a former backup water intake area for the city's water system that is no longer in use.     

At Mayor Richard Alcombright's request, the North Adams City Council in August approved seeking offers for the land, which is part of the city's Broad Brook watershed area.

The mayor said RFPs for the property would be considered based on price and suitability of use. He said the administration would likely return to the council with a recommended sale agreement for final approval. One of the mayor's priorities, he said, was that the planned use be environmentally friendly.

The city-owned property is assessed at $378,300 on 218.6 acres.

The land has drawn the interest of conservationists who would like to see the property protected, said Donald Campbell, Southwest regional director with the Vermont Land Trust. He said the VLT is aware of the RFP and would consider assisting in any effort to preserve the land.

The parcels are near the Appalachian Trail, which is located to the east, and Green Mountain National Forest land. The city previously sold a total of 3,420 acres in the area to the national forest in 2006 and 2007, according to Pownal real estate records.

The Trustees of Reservations also owns forestland in the vicinity — part of a preserved natural area that includes hiking trails and is located in both Williamstown and Pownal.

Proposals should be submitted to the city's Community Development Office before 11 a.m. on Dec. 29, according to an announcement of the RFP.

Questions about the process should be directed to the city office at City Hall, or by calling 413-662-3038 or 413-662-3000, ext. 3229.

Jim Therrien writes for New England Newspapers in Southern Vermont and VTDigger.org. @BB_therrien on Twitter.




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