LISBON – The Town Council voted Wednesday to move forward with plans to survey a 19-acre field that runs along Pray Road behind the Presbyterian Church in preparation to sell it.
The field is currently leased to the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department. The department intends to buy the property to use it for public events and training. The department, under the terms of the lease, maintains the property and has two years left on its lease.
Despite the departments interest in the property, council members last month decided to advertise the land for public sale.
Michael Light, fire department president, said the move made it seem like the town was walking back a prior, unofficial, commitment to sell the land to the department.
Lisbon Attorney Charles Nash said the town did not need to advertise the property if it wanted to sell it to the fire department. Council members said they had believed they were required to advertise it.
I dont think anyone is against the fire fighters buying it, said Supervisor James W. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong said the council wanted to ensure that enough land was kept for the town that a road could theoretically be built without crowding the houses that line the property.
Mr. Light said the department is absolutely OK with that.
Mr. Light proposed surveying a section of the land 60 feet out from the furthest residential property line to make way for any town road.
The town initially paid roughly $40,000 for the property five years ago. It was purchased from Robyn Moore.
Mr. Light said the fire department was under the assumption that the property would be sold to them for $40,000. It would fund the purchase with money saved up over years of fund raising and donations.
Council members voted to hire a surveyor to mark out how much of the property would be sold. The cost of the surveyor would be passed on to the buyer.
Once the fire department gives the council a purchase offer, the town will have to display the conditions of the sale and residents will have the opportunity to object if they choose.