PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

THE VALLEY DISPATCH, Dracut Town Meeting voters have a rare opportunity next week to help permanently preserve 29 acres of working farmland by allowing community preservation funds to be put toward the purchase.

David Dumaresq, who operates the Brox Farm, has a deal with the Leczynski Family Partnership to buy the farmland on Parker Road for $402,000. To seal the deal, however, voters must agree to purchase an Agricultural Preservation Restriction, which will permanently preserve the land through the sale of farm-restriction easements, for $425,000. The state Department of Agriculture will contribute another $270,000.

This proposal will preserve open space and protect one of the area’s few remaining farms.

Imagine how many single-family homes or condominiums could fit on 29 acres, attracting more children who must be educated and more traffic for already congested roads.

The Parker Road farm was acquired in 1919 and operated as a dairy farm until the late 1950s. It has since been used to grow hay for commercial purposes. If this proposal is approved, Dumaresq plans to continue farming the land, growing mostly hay and vegetables.

The plan will preserve 29 acres of farmland and help to maintain some of Dracut’s rural character, which is one reason why so many people continue to reside in, or moved to, the community.

Town Meeting voters should approve this proposal on Nov. 7.