Thank you, Townsend Selectman Sue Lisio, for speaking in favor of providing a letter from the Board of Selectmen to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation regarding the rail trail.

As you know, Squannacook Greenways is very close to a conditional agreement with DCR, in which DCR will sign the railroad lease and Squannacook Greenways will have sole responsibility for construction and maintenance of the rail trail.

Before entering into the agreement, DCR requests a letter of commitment that the Townsend Board of Selectmen intends to pursue construction of approximately 900 feet of sidewalk in the Townsend Harbor area and to provide standard policing for the rail trail. I strongly urge our selectmen to provide the letter and I ask Chief Marshall to look at local rail trails to determine the added expense for public safety, which I'm certain is minimal.

I sincerely hope our selectmen's vote will not be steered by a minority opposition, after a public vote clearly showed that the majority of residents is in favor of the rail trail. As Ms. Lisio stated, most rail trails in Massachusetts have found that abutter fears do not translate into reality.

JOAN WOTKOWICZ

Townsend