Meeting on Chester College Property Set for May 9

CHESTER – The board of selectmen plans to have members of the Better Future Alliance meet with them at their Thursday, May 9 meeting. Together with the planning board, the selectmen are looking for an
overview of suggestions the Better Future Alliance has for the town’s possible purchase of the Chester College of New England property.

Last year rumors surfaced about the property’s being purchased by a halfway house, and while the rumors were largely unfounded, the uproar prompted the selectmen to hold a special meeting with residents and representation from the college to discuss the future of the property. The resounding feeling from that meeting was that residents would like to pur- chase the property and control its destiny.

The selectmen then hired the Better Future Alliance to look into the property, thoroughly review its potential and report back to the town. The Better Future Alliance is a network of subject matter experts in everything from economic development to community planning to site design to architecture, who help municipalities plan for their future.

The meeting on May 9 will be an overview, but a full presentation is also planned for Town Meeting. At Town Meeting the voters will decide whether they want to purchase the land and if so, how much they’re willing to spend on it. No decisions on the property have been made and selectmen are not unified in a desire to purchase the property, but have stated that they are doing due diligence to bring all the perti- nent information to the
town.

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