SCARBOROUGH – City councilors said they were in favor of using $ 200,000 of funds from a voter approved reserve to help the Scarborough Land Trust purchase the Libby property, a 16-acre parcel of land , for conservation purposes.
The land trust raised $ 50,000 for the land, located off Highway 114 and containing 1,200 feet of the Nonesuch River, Suzanne Foley-Ferguson, chair of the Scarborough Parks and Conservation Land Board, said at the meeting of the city ââcouncil of October 6.
In addition, the land trust is requesting $ 200,000 from the city’s land acquisition reserve fund, approved by voters in three previous referendums, dating back to 2001 and most recently in 2019, for $ 2.5 million. , said Foley-Ferguson.
âWhat this means is that when a project comes to the city of Scarborough, the city assesses whether or not they want to help with the purchase,â she said. âA lot of projects, in fact probably 90 percent of them came from the Scarborough Land Trust. The land trust is a non-profit organization and depends on private funding while these funds are a reserve fund.
The Libby property is being sold for less than market value, Foley-Ferguson said. The owners are invested in the conservation and preservation of natural lands.
âLand conservation is a long-term investment in the community,â she said. âThe real benefits of preserving the land far exceed the initial cost and although we do incur some debt service, it is not just the aesthetics and the wildlife that we are protecting. We also protect value.
In August, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, located in Scarborough, donated $ 10,000 to the land trust to purchase the property. The purchase of the land will expand and further protect the Warren Woods reserve, a Scarborough Land Trust property that spans 156 acres, the organization said.
City councilors have said they support the proposed use of the reserve funds. Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina encouraged other members to support the allocation at future meetings.
âI am happy to see that we continue to invest in land that is important to the city and to the future of the city,â she said.
The project is fully in line with the vocation of the acquisition fund, said advisor John Cloutier.
Another advantage is that the project fits the overall city plan, said Councilor Jonathan Anderson.
âWe have a specific vision on preserving the city’s natural resources and I think this is just a great example of how we can do it,â he said.