By Paul Tennant
NORTH ANDOVER - The town has finally completed the purchase of 14 acres on Osgood Street.
Selectmen Chairman William Gordon told The Eagle-Tribune that the sale was closed this afternoon after negotiations between attorneys for the town and the Osgood Street Realty Trust, now the former owner of the property at 623 Osgood St.
The selectmen had expected to approve the sale yesterday morning, but Town Counsel Thomas Urbelis told the board there were still some unresolved issues, including liability and a utility easement running through the property.
The board went into executive session with Urbelis and Town Manager Andrew Maylor, then reopened the doors to the public. The selectmen voted to authorize Gordon to sign the purchase and sale agreement on their behalf when Urbelis and attorney John Smolak, attorney for the seller, resolved the sticking points.
The June 12 Town Meeting appropriated up to $1.4 million for the sale. The money is coming from the Community Preservation Fund, which is financed by a 3 percent surtax on real estate bills as well as state contributions.
Deanna Ousler, a trustee of the Osgood Street Realty Trust, will continue to reside in her house at the site. She will also retain a lot of about an acre.
The public will be permitted to use the 14 acres for hiking, bird watching and other forms of passive recreation.