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MALTA: P.L.A.N. asks for more money

The board discussed the creation of a partnership in which the town would be able to have input into the parcel's future use and to retain the parcel if Saratoga P.L.A.N. should be dissolved.

During these discussions, Welles mentioned that the larger portion of the parcel was owned by George and Leona Sweeney, and their son, Larry, owned the portion with waterfront access to Round Lake. She said that Larry Sweeney is seeking to retain use of the property for his and his wife's lifetimes.

"He wants to retain a life estate there," she said. "Public access during his life has not been discussed."

Welles stated that there is an opportunity in negotiations to purchase the "life estate" for additional money beyond the $700,000 purchase price for the property. While Winters and Lange said the information about the younger Sweeney's desire to maintain a life estate was recent news to them, Sausville and Gizzi said they were aware of the condition. Welles noted that retaining a life estate had been a condition of the purchase since the project's inception.

Peterson suggested the discussion move into executive session so members of the group could talk feely about the negotiation process for the property. When the executive session ended, during which a vote was taken, Sausville and the other board members declined to discuss the vote or matters discussed during executive session.

"We are working with P.L.A.N. to move forward with a strategy to protect the Round Lake Preserve," said Sausville, saying only that negotiations are ongoing with the landowner.

All money to be spent on this project, regardless of the amount, will come out of the Open Space Reserve Fund, said King. As a result, once the board passes a resolution approving the spending of the allocated money it will be subject to a permissive referendum. ""

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