No bidders emerge for Pownal land eyed for conservation

A sign in Pownal marks the beginning of forestland owned by the city of North Adams, Mass., which asked for proposals to purchase about 218 acres. File photo by Jim Therrien/VTDigger
POWNAL — No bids came in for 218 acres of forested land in Pownal that the city of North Adams, Massachusetts, is looking to sell.
“Strangely, no proposals were received,” said Michael Nuvallie, the city’s Community Development office special projects coordinator. Responses to a request for proposals were due Friday.
The land is near the Appalachian Trail and the Green Mountain National Forest. It was part of a former backup water intake area for the North Adams water system that is no longer used.
The city sold a total of 3,420 acres in the area to the national forest in 2006 and 2007, according to Pownal real estate records.
Outgoing North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright had said his preference for the current parcel was some type of transfer that would conserve the land. Alcombright, who did not seek re-election, had gained approval in August from the City Council to seek proposals for the property, which is assessed in Pownal at $378,300 on 218.6 acres.
The land has drawn the interest of conservationists, according to Donald Campbell, southwest regional director with the Vermont Land Trust. He said the land trust would consider assisting in any effort to preserve the land.
Campbell said Friday he intends to look into whether there are groups or organizations that might have considered submitting an RFP.
The Trustees of Reservations owns meadow and forestland in the vicinity — part of a preserved natural area that includes hiking trails and is in both Williamstown and Pownal.
Alcombright said prior to the RFP deadline that any offer for the land would likely have to go back to the council for final approval, and an agreement also would be reviewed by incoming Mayor Thomas Bernard, who was sworn in Monday.
Read the story on VTDigger here: No bidders emerge for Pownal land eyed for conservation.