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What happened to Woodworkers?

December 3, 2012

In 2011, town officials were adamant that Walpole taxpayers should support the $4.5 million purchase of the Walpole Woodworkers property on East Street to be used for an as-yet-unknown use in the future. Officials also claimed a 40B developer was waiting in the wings to take the property if the taxpayers didn’t step up and prevent that.

Needless to say, voters wisely turned that down. Not only did the town have no clue what it wanted to do with the property, there were also too many questions about the land. We have also learned since, after careful research, that 40B isn’t the bogeyman our town officials often claim it is.

It is now close to the end of 2012, and as of right now one 40B developer has looked into developing the property but has since backed out. No other developer has stepped up since then.

Talk about an intriguing mystery, considering the land was supposed to be a prime target for 40B developers.

Perhaps the land might have been useful for a town facility in the future, but the town already owns plenty of land and in fact just sold off the old library plot for a price that was, to be frank, a lot lower than many of us felt was fair. The town is expecting a professional facilities study to be released shortly, which will provide some clarity as to the town’s facilities and land needs. It would not have been a smart move for a town to buy land before they knew what their needs were.

Meanwhile, Walpole Woodworkers still has not left Walpole as they were claiming to do. The land apparently has had no takers.

For the record, the president of Walpole Woodworkers, Lou Maglio, has not returned phone calls from 180 inquiring as to why the property isn’t selling.

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