Block Island Times

Overlook property continues to stir controversy

Buried in the middle of two dozen agenda items before the Town Council on the night of May 19, was an interesting addition: a series of questions raised by Councilor Martha Ball regarding the transparency and forthrightness of the decision by the town to purchase a portion of the Overlook property, Plat 19, Lot 3. The citizens of New Shoreham voted 115 to 81 at the Financial Town Meeting of May 3, 2021 to contribute $4.5 million of the $10.5 million price to acquire the property. The remaining $6 million will be split between the Block Island Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and Block Island Conservancy.Ball asked how the council could have been receiving letters of support from condo owners in Salt Pond Settlement, which abuts the Overlook property, while the negotiations were still being held in closed session? She also asked who led these various owners of Salt Pond Settlement condos to believe that the land would be undeveloped open space? Ball also asked who negotiated this deal? “We don’t get a flurry of letters at the same time unless something precipitated it,” Ball said, speaking from fifty years experience with Block Island government.
Ball was also

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