Cumberland purchase will expand conservation of Knight's Pond

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CUMBERLAND — Thanks to an upcoming purchase of a 19.6-acre parcel that includes nearly 13 acres of Knight’s Pond, the entire body of water will soon be in a conservation easement.

The Town Council on Monday unanimously approved the acquisition from John Paynter. The purchase price of $90,000 will paid out monthly over the course of 10 years, at 5 percent interest, Town Manager Bill Shane said Monday. The payments will be drawn from the town’s land acquisition funds.

The purchase follows the 2015 purchase of the 215-acre undeveloped Knight’s Pond/Blueberry Hill by Cumberland and North Yarmouth, aided by grant funds and donations. The conserved parcel, off Greely Road Extension, is primarily in Cumberland, with 50 acres in North Yarmouth.

Shane expects the acquisition from Paynter – which includes the eastern portion of Knight’s Pond – to close early next month, with the land going into a conservation easement run by the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust next year.

“This is the culmination of a dream for me, to get this in conservation, and add it onto the Knight’s Pond preserve, and I thank you all for your consideration,” Paynter told the council.

Brian Marcaurelle, vice president of the CCLT board of directors, said his organization “strongly supports” the purchase. “… Mr. Paynter has done an amazing job stewarding the property on the eastern shore of the pond.”

While he did not oppose the purchase, lifelong resident Adam Dews mentioned prior acquisitions, such as Broad Cove Reserve, Rines Forest, the Twin Brook Recreation Area and the Town Forest, and asked, “How much of this are we going to continue to buy?”

“It is a concern,” Councilor Peter Bingham responded, noting he thought the town’s “appetite” for property purchases has “kind of gotten pretty close to the full thing.”

The council’s consideration of the Paynter parcel was due to its link into an existing preserve, he added.

Sam York, chairman of the town’s Conservation Commission, said while the conserved properties come with up-front costs, “it’s coming back to us in educational and recreational opportunities.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The Cumberland Town Council on Monday approved the purchase of 19.6 acres of property, which includes 12.9 acres of the eastern portion of Knight’s Pond and 6.72 acres of land.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.