WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – A proposed industrial park on Cabot Road was among the key decisions that were made during last night’s meeting of the city council’s legislative and ordinance subcommittee.
The industrial park proposal came from City Advancement Officer Joe Mitchell, who suggested that they use the parcels of land located between Cabot Road and Turnpike Industrial Road to create a 66-acre industrial park, which Mitchell said would be the first of its size in western Massachusetts.
“It’s high, it’s dry, it’s not over the aquifer, no wetland issues,” Mitchell said off the property. “We will gain revenue and create jobs.”
Specifically, Mitchell requested that the city council vote to acquire the land and that they give him the ability to pre-permit the land with a grant from the state for $93,000.
The land was originally set to become a landfill as early as the mid-1980s Mitchell said, but that project never came to fruition. From there, the land was held by the city’s department of health before the department voted to give the land back to the city but the city council never voted to approve it.
Mitchell said that the pre-permitting process would allow Sullivan’s office to “enter into a site readiness program,” which could allow the city to OK businesses to build on the land with less hassle, and opens the city up to additional grants for any traffic studies or otherwise that may need to occur around the property.
According to Mitchell, the $93,000 grant would need to be paid back in full prior to 30 years, or if 30 years pass then there is nothing owed back to the state. Additionally, if there is a sale of the land within those 30 years, Mitchell said that the city would have to pay 15 percent of the profit that they make on the sale, if the sale is higher than the valuated cost of the perceived industrial park.
“Total property valuation is $399,600, whatever we make over that we would pay 15 percent on,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell asked the subcommittee to vote to recommend that Sullivan dispose of the Cabot Road property to move along with the plans.