PRESERVATION OF FARMLAND KEY ARTICLE FOR VOTERS TOWN MEETING

Dave Dumaresq hopes Town Meeting voters will approve spending $425,000 so he can purchase and preserve Leczynski Farm., VALLEY DISPATCH/DENNIS SHAUGHNESSEY
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BY DENNIS SHAUGHNESSEY, Valley Dispatch Staff

DRACUT — David Dumaresq is hoping for a huge turnout at the Nov. 7 Town Meeting.

“I hope there’s a quorum at least,” he said, while standing on the Leczynski Farm on Parker Road, a farm he hopes residents will vote to protect. “This is very important to the town and, of course, it’s very important to me.”

Dumaresq, who has operated the Brox Farm on Route 113 in Dracut since 1994, when owner John Brox died, is buying the farm and its buildings, subject to Agricultural preservation restrictions. Dumaresq will pay $402,000 for the property. The state Department of Agriculture will kick in another $270,000 and voters will decide whether to expend $425,000 from the town’s Community Preservation Fund.

“It’s the culmination of the family’s dream to preserve the land as a farm, both for our memories but for future generations,” said Joan Bozek, a Leczynski granddaughter who grew up near the farm.

Other items for consideration on the fall town warrant include various street abandonments and acceptances, as well as several bylaw amendments and rezoning articles. Dracut Town Manager Dennis Piendak said that the budgetary items, which are usually commonplace at the November town meeting, are not necessary this year because the state budget was completed in time for the May town meeting.

“Usually there are transfer items that need to be taken care of but that’s not the case this year,” he said.

That’s not to say there are no issues to draw voters, however. Several rezoning articles could impact local neighborhoods and Piendak stressed the importance of getting out to vote. Article 13 asks voters to amend and change the zoning at 1905 Lakeview Ave. from B-3 Business Zone and R-3 Residential Zone to strictly B-3 Business Zone. Another rezoning article asks voters to rezone the last at 2205 Lakeview Ave. from B-1 Business to B-3 Business.

Voters will also be asked to rezone the property at 2041 Bridge Street from B-4 Business to R-3 Residential.

But the biggest issue by far is the Leczynski Farm article, which March Hill Road resident Helen Dunlap called “the perfect confluence of several wonderful things.”

“First of all you have the Leczynski family who has been actively engaged in getting this done,” Dunlap said. “They have been after this for about three years and they have never given up. Then, having the state approve the APR was ideal. The town has lucked out in several different ways. Now the only thing remaining is to approve the appropriation at Town Meeting. It is for this very reason that the CPC was passed at Town Meeting three years ago. The Leczynski Farm is large enough to be meaningful and we have the ability to invest in the long-term preservation of the farm.”

Town Meeting takes place Nov. 7 at the Richardson Auditorium inside Dracut High School, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Have a story idea? E-mail Dennis Shaughnessey at dshaughnessey@thevalleydispatch.com.