At the end of June, the Ad Hoc Committee to Update Marblehead’s Open Space and Recreation Plan formally submitted the plan to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. That office has requested a few additions, and these are being worked on.
In the meantime, Tom Devine, Conservation Agent for the City of Salem, completed a joint Salem-Marblehead proposal for a PARC (PARC stands for Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities) grant and submitted it to the same state office. This proposal seeks reimbursement for some of the acquisition cost of the Lead Mills property after a purchase is completed. By submitting a joint proposal, the maximum amount of funds for which a proposal might be eligible goes up by a factor of eight over what Marblehead could do alone.
Marblehead voters took the big step of agreeing to buy the Marblehead portion of the property through an override decision in June. However, the total cost purchasing the full property, dividing it into separate municipal components, and re-assigning ownership has not been reached. By agreement with the seller, purchase must be completed by March 31, 2013. Fundraising is underway to meet that deadline.