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Westonites Approve Lachat Deal, Again

WESTON, Conn. – A lease agreement allowing the Lachat property to be shared between the town and the Nature Conservancy was approved by Weston residents at a special town meeting.

Town meetings are designed to give Westonites final say over various issues facing the town. But the ultimate use of the property is yet-to-be determined.

“I want to make it clear that we are not discussing the use of the property tonight, that is a community discussion that we still have to have," First Selectman Gayle Weinstein told the crowd.

Many ideas have been floating around Weston about what should be done with the property, which was signed over to the town and the conservency in 1997 by Leon Lachat. Some of those include turning the farmhouse on the property into a cultural arts center or a place for conservation research .

Under the agreement, the town will lease 19.01 acres of land from the conservancy, which would in turn lease 22.6 acres of property from the town. The lease exchange would come at no extra cost to both parties. Selectman Dennis Tracey said the agreement was “purely for the purpose of separating ourselves from the Nature Conservancy once and for all, so we can use this property for a positive way for the town."

The new lease changes language concerning the conservancy’s endowment fund for the land. In the original lease, it was agreed that 5 percent of the balance of the fund would be distributed to the town to cover maintenance costs, Tracey said.

Under the new lease, Tracey said, the conservancy “will have the right to increase or decrease that 5 percent.” That money, he said, “will be distributed based on need to renovations and maintenance.”

To watch the meeting in full, click here

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