This is an open letter to executive committee of the Weekapaug Fire District:
I’ve just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Weekapaug and learned that Lot 6, also known as the RockHaven lot, is being considered for sale so that the Weekapaug Fire District can create a rainy day fund for an indefinite purpose.
While I am no longer a Weekapaug Fire District property owner and cannot vote on the matter, I wanted to write and remind people why my dad (Bill Lane) and so many of the original landowners purchased this property in 1965. It marked an event when the community joined together for a common good of the community. They knew that undeveloped land has value. What’s more it creates a legacy among property owners, which says: We think open space is important.
I find it oddly symbolic that Lot 6 is the one being considered for development. In a way, it is a gateway parcel, which introduces visitors to the values of Weekapaug. Have they changed so much from 1965? Back then, the property owners were willing to come up with creative solutions to financial problems that reflected their values.
I know that tucking away money for future unforeseen expenses is important. I am not sure that selling Lot 6 for an overinflated sum of money is the best idea. Perhaps the executive committee of the Weekapaug Fire District should follow the values of the community (a survey of Weekapaug property owners conducted last year resulted in 64 percent of the respondents saying the property should not be sold) and make financial choices accordingly.
Certainly, this decision facing the fire district is worth pausing for a moment, because once you develop a piece of property, it will never be open space again.