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Lisbon moves ahead with plans to sell Pray Road field

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LISBON — The Town Council voted Wednesday to move forward with plans to survey a 19-acre field that runs along Pray Road behind the Presbyterian Church in preparation for selling it.

The field is leased to the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department, which intends to buy the property to use for public events and training. The department already maintains the property and has two years left on its lease.

Despite the department’s interest in the property, council members last month decided to advertise the land for public sale. Michael S. Light, Fire Department president, said the move made it seem as if the town were taking back an unofficial commitment to sell the land to the department.

Lisbon attorney Charles B. Nash said the town did not need to advertise the property if it wanted to sell it to the Fire Department. Council members said they had believed they were required to advertise it.

“I don’t think anyone is against the firefighters buying it,” Supervisor James W. Armstrong said.

Mr. Armstrong said the council wanted to ensure that enough land was retained so a road theoretically could be built without crowding the houses that line the property.

Mr. Light said the Fire Department is “absolutely OK with that.”

He proposed surveying a section of the land 60 feet from the farthest residential property line to make way for any future town road.

The town paid about $40,000 to buy the parcel five years ago from Robyn Moore.

Mr. Light said the Fire Department was under the assumption that it would buy the property for $40,000. It would fund the purchase with money saved from years of fundraising and donations.

The council voted to hire a surveyor to mark out how much of the property would be sold; the cost of the surveyor would be passed on to the buyer.

Once the Fire Department gives the council a purchase offer, the town will have to display the conditions of the sale and residents will have an opportunity to object if they choose.

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