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Offer to buy Lakeville firehouse is withdrawn

SALISBURY — The prospective buyer of the old Lakeville Hose Co. firehouse has withdrawn his offer, First Selectman Curtis Rand said Monday, Nov. 14.In a Nov. 10 letter from Amy Schuchat, attorney for Frank Gallogly, Schuchat wrote, “After careful consideration, my client Frank Gallogly has instructed me to withdraw his offer to purchase” the firehouse and an adjacent building at 9 and 9A Sharon Road.Schuchat cited “the failure of the Planning and Zoning Commission to approve the transaction,” which was in the contract with the town.The Planning and Zoning Commission discussed the matter Oct. 4 and by a 3-2 margin voted not to pass the Gallogly offer on to a town meeting.In August, the Board of Selectmen agreed that a cash offer from Gallogly of $475,000 for the old firehouse and the adjacent building at 9 and 9A Sharon Road was worth bringing to town meeting.Gallogly planned to use the old firehouse to store a collection of classic automobiles.The offer included restoration of the building, maintaining the facade, keeping the Green next to the firehouse open for use as a public space, and renovating the building at 9A for future commercial use.Some members of the commission were unsure if the Gallogly plan was in sync with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, and urged more discussion.There was also an effort, led by Mike Flint, to explore the idea of converting the old firehouse to affordable housing units. The Affordable Housing Commission subsequently concluded that Flint’s idea was not financially realistic.At a public meeting Sept. 8, Schuchat and Flint both presented their proposals to an audience of about 33 residents. No consensus emerged from that discussion, although there were plenty of opinions offered.To sell the firehouse to Gallogly, approval was needed from Planning and Zoning, and then a positive vote from the town’s legislative body — the town meeting.The selectmen felt the Gallogly deal was worth bringing to the town for a vote. Unlike an earlier offer for $400,000, with contingencies and no specified use, Gallogly’s offer was for a higher price, in cash, and had no contingencies.However, the contract the town signed with Gallogly when accepting his deposit of $47,500 specified approval by both town meeting and by the planning board.Rand wrote back to Schuchat Monday, Nov. 14, saying the $47,500 deposit would be returned promptly and thanking her and Gallogly for their offer.

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