I am pleased to report that the Town of Sherborn, working in partnership with the Town of Holliston, has completed on January 10, 2012, the purchase from CSX Corporation of an unused railroad right of way that brings a portion of the proposed Upper Charles Rail Trail in Sherborn under public ownership. The purchase was done simultaneously with the Town of Holliston purchasing a portion of the rail road right of way and leasing the rest, in order to provide a recreational rail trail that would when completed, include Milford, Holliston and Sherborn, with eventual possible connections to Ashland and Framingham. The acquisition of the property required approval of the United States via the United States Surface Transportation Board in Washington D.C. The key points of this acquisition by the town are:
- The seller was CSX Corporation
- the amount of land acquired by the town: 2.26 acres
- length: 1450 feet was acquired
- Closing occurred on Jan 10, 2012
- Purchase price for Sherborn $47,753 paid to CSX. Sherborn spent an additional $7438.50 so far for legal, engineering and environmental studies to date. There is another $4,561.50 of local matching funds expected to be spent in environmental and trail improvement work.
- Source of Funds: a state grant of $48,000 and a municipal matching appropriation of $12,000 from the 2010 Sherborn Annual Town Meeting.
- Deed to the Town of Sherborn January 10, 2012
This acquisition accomplishes the following Town of Sherborn goals:
- The property acquired is adjacent to the reserved well site negotiated as part of the Whitney Farms settlement, atop one of Sherborn's principal aquifers, should the town ever need a public water supply.
- Promotes Regional Cooperation and helps cement our alliances with other communities (Town of Holliston, Town of Milford, Town of Ashland and Town of Framingham) and institutions (Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Upper Charles Conservation Land Trust, Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation)
- key milestone on the way towards creation of a multi-town "Upper Charles Rail Trail"
- recreational opportunities to be created for pedestrian path, and possibly later a bikeway or similar use; possible pathway for water supply pipes.
- leveraging of Sherborn's dollars as the purchase was funded by state funds with local matching contribution.
This project started in 1996 and have spanned 16 years, with consistent support from the Sherborn Board of Selectmen over that time period. Thanks are due the following individuals who, among others, deserve special recognition for their service to the town to bring about this acquisition: John Higley, Rob Wolff, Barbara Kantorski, Ed Perry, and Gino Carlucci. Well done, all around.