IPSWICH — The most cost-effective to way to treat drinking water is to stop it from getting polluted in the first place, says Chris LaPointe.
Greenbelt’s director of land conservation, LaPointe said unspoiled land around areas that supply drinking water are a valuable first step in keeping it clean.
And the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs offers drinking water supply protection grants for that purpose, said Hannah Wilbur, the town’s open space manager.
So when just under 93 acres of wetland, open hayfields, and wooded upland became available on Pineswamp Road, the town and Greenbelt put a proposal together.
It will be up to voters at town meeting on May 12 to debate and give the final say.
The land was appraised at $1.3 million, but the owner, the Kamon Realty Trust, has agreed to sell for $1.15 million.
Dianne Perry is listed as trustee, according to town records. “The Perrys are very excited to see the property conserved in perpetuity and to have the legacy of the Kamon family live on in this new chapter of the property,” a town webpage outlining the proposal said.
Greenbelt will contribute $400,000, while Ipswich will pay $750,000, provided it can win a state grant for $300,000. The deal would be contingent on Ipswich getting the grant, which should be known before town meeting.
The land would then be owned and maintained by Greenbelt, but the town would hold a conservation restriction.
More than half of the property protects and filters water flowing into the Bull Brook Reservoir and the Mile Lane Well, Wilbur said.
LaPointe said the open fields would be maintained, but in a way that was compatible with drinking water protection.
Leading visitors on a tour of the property last week, he said the land connects to other protected open space in the area, and trails could connect.
LaPointe noted the Kamon Farm abuts town land and a parcel owned by the Hamilton-Wenham Open Land Trust, and it is a short walk from Willowdale State Forest.
There is also a trail easement over private land to Turkey Hill, he said.
Wilbur said public tours will be organized in the run-up to town meeting.