The Town of Milton is in the process of trying to buy Camp Boyhaven. It is the largest piece of privately held undeveloped property in the Town and it includes a mile of the Kayaderosseras and many recreational opportunities. I have heard comments that the Town should not be spending money on open space when there are infrastructure needs like water lines and a new roof on Town Hall. It is important for people to be aware of two things. First, this property is not going to wind up costing very much, and second, the money that is going to pay for it cannot be used for those other purposes.
The Town’s bid on the Boyhaven property was $500,000. The money the Town will use will come from the Open Space reserve fund, which can only be used for the purchase of parkland, and the Recreation fund which can only be used to purchase and/or improve land for recreation. Neither of these funds can be used for other types of projects.
If we are successful in purchasing Camp Boyhaven, the Town will apply for open space grants from the County ($50,000 maximum) and the State ($500,000 maximum). We also intend to sell more than half of the property to the State to be added to Middle Grove State Forest. In the end, the Town will be reimbursed for much of the cost of the purchase.
The bottom line is that the Town of Milton is trying to preserve a large and important open space at a minimal final cost to the Town using money that cannot be used for other purposes. If the Town is successful, the property will be available for Milton residents and their families to enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding and other recreation. That is a win-win situation that we should all be very happy about.
Editor’s note: the letter writer is also Chairman of the Town of Milton Planning Board