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Squannacook River Rail Trail ballot question

May 10th, 2006

The following question will be on the ballot in Townsend May 10th, 2006:

Shall the Town negotiate a lease agreement with the MBTA, including language indemnifying the Town from environmental liability associated with trail construction, for a rail-to-trails conversion of the railroad tracks between Harbor Village and Depot Street in Townsend center for recreational purposes? This question is non-binding, and any decision to authorize construction would require an additional town vote.

This question asks whether the town should take the next step in the process a pursuing a rail trail .  The MBTA is offering to lease their land to Townsend for 85 years for one dollar.  There is concern about environmental liability, so the question specifically states that the town would not sign the lease unless that issue was dealt with.  This question does not make any final decision about whether to build a rail trail, but this question's passage is critical if the project is to continue.

A "Yes" vote supports pursuing a rail trail in Townsend, and a "No" vote rejects the trail.