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Haverhill

December 30, 2012

81 acres preserved for open space

Mayor: Much of the land to be dedicated to hiking, canoeing, kayaking

HAVERHILL — Eighty-one rural acres along Kingsbury Avenue will be placed into a conservation trust, preventing the land from ever being developed.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the city will eventually turn part of the land into a public recreational area next to Chadwick Pond, where residents will go hiking, canoeing and kayaking.

In exchange for placing the land into the trust, the owners will be receiving tax breaks, the mayor said.

Perley and Janice Bailey, 82 and 77 respectively, have agreed to convey 60 acres where they live at 475 Kingsbury Ave. and another 21 acres across the street near Chadwick Pond to the nonprofit Essex County Greenbelt Association. Ownership of the main piece will transfer immediately, but the 21 acres will not change hands for three years, city officials said.

In return, the Baileys will receive a one-time $50,000 state income tax credit. They also trimmed about $120 off their annual city property tax bill, Fiorentini said.

The mayor said he agreed to support the deal after the Baileys agreed to allow public access to the larger parcel upon their deaths. Two buildings are on that parcel — the Baileys’ home and another home owned by their children, the mayor said. The city intends to eventually build walking trails on the old farmland, he said.

The City Council approved the deal last week and Fiorentini said he has since signed off on it.

“Initially it was only going to include the 60 acres on Kingsbury Avenue, so I was against it,” Fiorentini said. “But when they agreed to include the land near Chadwick Pond and also to allow public access, I agreed to support it.

“Some day Chadwick Pond is going to be a wonderful recreational area for the city, with canoeing and kayaking,’’ he said. “Both sides are beautiful, picturesque properties.”

The land is in the city’s Bradford section.

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