Lombardi likes idea of buying riverfront land, but urges caution

Lombardi likes idea of buying riverfront land, but urges caution

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi says he’s all for buying such properties as the one the Land Trust is considering on Adams Lane, along the Woonasquatucket River, but is urging caution given the number of other properties the town is currently investing in.

The Breeze reported last week that the Land Trust is reviewing a proposal to purchase three acres of property that Town Planner David Westcott described as a “pretty spectacular spot” from the Octeau family.

He said it would be great for a passive recreation riverfront park in a town without much riverfront access.

Lombardi said he agrees this property near the Johnston line is a great one and the town should own it, saying he’ll be running the idea by the Town Council. He’ll also be meeting with grant writer Lisa Andoscia about possibly seeking outside funding for the purchase.

But, cautioned Lombardi, he’s leery about overextending the town on its current spree of targeting recreation properties, with two properties recently acquired for new athletic fields and funding needed for development of those spaces, as well as a promise to Marieville residents to also acquire a National Grid property for a recreation space in that area.

“So many things are going on,” he said. “I don’t want to get stupid over here and eat up all the money and not have a decent surplus. I’ll certainly take a look at it and see what the use could be.”

Lombardi added that he was planning to meet with members of the Marieville Neighborhood Partnership early this week.

The property has been in the Octeau family for a century, he noted.

“We’re open to any and all discussions,” said the mayor.

The price tag for the land has been estimated at $300,000, though neither the Octeau family nor Land Trust members have confirmed.

The Land Trust is said to have about half of that amount in its account.