Decision to purchase Camp Shepard was the right choice

Decision to purchase Camp Shepard was the right choice

We applaud the decision by the Smithfield Town Council to purchase the 114-acre Camp Shepard site from the YMCA.

We have recently experienced the tremendous value of open space to the town during the pandemic lockdown.

While many recreational opportunities were limited, Smithfield residents were able enjoy the benefits of walking on our many hiking trails maintained by both the Conservation Commission and Land Trust.

The $1.2 million to purchase the property (some or all of which may be recoverable through government or private grants) is an outstanding investment. Although dividing the land into house lots would increase tax revenues, such revenues are usually offset by the cost of the additional services the town must provide. The town’s open spaces and recreational assets add quality of life benefits that cannot be quantified. Property values are also increased by making the town a more desirable place to live.

Congratulations to the Town Council for seizing this unique opportunity!

Cheryl and Michael Iannotti

Smithfield