ALFRED — Voters here Tuesday agreed to buy Brothers Beach. They approved the referendum by a margin of 125 votes, 346-221, according to Town Clerk Andrew Bors.

The referendum asked voters if they wished to take $75,000 from the capital improvement fund to pay for the 33.6-acre parcel bordering Shaker Pond.

The property is owned by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, who live nearby on Shaker Hill. They approached selectmen earlier this year, inquiring as to whether the town had any interest in buying the property.

Selectmen first offered $125,000 for the property, but later offered $75,000 when they learned the limitations of the property, which is located in the town’s own Resource Protection Zone.

The property has traditionally been used for swimming, providing access to Shaker Pond for canoes and kayaks, picnicking and similar functions, which would be allowed to continue, even though they’re a non-conforming use of the property under the zoning ordinance. The uses would not be allowed to expand, however, and if the town ever decided it wanted to expand the parking lot, a permit would be required from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Some residents questioned the purchase price selectmen offered for the 33.6 acres, pointing out selectmen hadn’t sought a property appraisal prior to making either the first or second offer.

Selectmen said they were guided by the assessed value of the property – about $84,500 – for which the Brothers pay a property tax of about $1,200 annually, and believed the offer was a fair one.

Treasurer Fred Holt said the town would replenish the capital improvement fund over three years, at $25,000 annually, either through taxes or from the undesignated fund.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282- 1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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