Home > Uncategorized > More questions about the Glavin land deal

More questions about the Glavin land deal

Suppose a couple owned a house, and one day, the husband stated that they couldn’t afford to live there anymore and would have to move out.  However, rather than putting the house up for sale, he said he planned to let a friend live in it for a dollar a year. 

Might the wife not object and say maybe they could afford to stay there if they didn’t need the income from a sale of the property?

Isn’t this same sort of giveaway that the administration has just agreed to concerning 69 acres of state-owned land at the Glavin Regional Center, which has been targeted for closure as of next July?

As we previously noted here, the governor signed a bill into law in August to lease 69 acres of land at Glavin for $1 a year for the next 25 years to the Town of Shrewsbury.  The land subject to the lease consists of 15 acres currently used as soccer fields and 54 acres of farmland.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported in 2010 that the total amount of land at Glavin is “more than 120 acres” and had been assessed at $22.36 million.  Thus, the land that has been effectively given to the town in this case could be worth as much as $12.9 million.

Many people seem to think we oppose the continued use of open space at Glavin for recreational and agricultural uses.  That’s not the case.  Our main question here is what happened to the deliberative process that the administration promised with regard to the disposition of the land?

We ask this question not because we want to see this land sold or used for any particular purpose.  But like the wife in the house giveaway scenario above, we question the administration’s assertion that it can no longer afford to keep Glavin open and must evict its longtime residents.  If closing Glavin is about saving money, why effectively give almost $13 million worth of land away without going through the promised reuse process?

In 2008, the administration announced it was closing the Glavin, Fernald, Monson, and Templeton developmental centers, contending there would be a fiscal savings in doing so.  In making the closure announcement, the administration expressly stated that disposition of the land at those centers would be subject to a “collaborative” reuse-committee planning process.

Legislation was subsequently enacted into law to set up land reuse committees for the Fernald Center (Chapter 149 of the Acts of 2004, S. 402) and for the Monson and Templeton Centers (Chapter 59 of the Acts of 2009).  However, a bill filed in January 2009 to establish a similar land reuse committee for the Glavin Center never got out of the Bonding Committee. 

The Glavin land reuse bill, which had been filed by then state Representative Karyn Polito, had stated that the proposed reuse committee “will be mindful of the rights of current Glavin residents, and their need for adequate and appropriate housing, clinical services, and appropriate staffing…”

Why Polito’s bill died and was never refiled is a mystery to us.

Interestingly, in February 2010, the administration proposed to sell what appears to be the same parcels of land at Glavin that it is now prepared to lease to the town for $1 a year.  Area legislators opposed the planned sale of the land. 

What caused the about-face on the administration’s part from wanting to sell the Glavin land with no formal reuse process in place, to agreeing to effectively give the land away, with no formal reuse process in place?

We’ll continue to ask these questions, hoping for some answers.

  1. Ed
    October 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again. This sounds like a carnival shell game. “Keep your eye on the shell, folks! Follow the pea! What? You picked the wrong shell? Well, you don’t get $13-million. But here’s a buck.”


  2. Rosemary
    October 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Sounds like a SCAM to me


  3. Rosemary
    October 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Sounds like a great business deal when the state is in need of money if they are able to rent the land for $1 why can’t they keep the Glavin Center open if they can afford that


  4. sheryl
    October 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    yeah big business wanting to build. at the expense of our most disabled. can anyone tell me if Cathleen Gover is still apart of this organization? when she was the only one in it lol ,she helped me so much. i would have been lost without her. she helped me with my brother John
    Rohan. thank u


  5. Jess
    October 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I think that if the state can afford to ‘sell’ the land to the town of Shrewsbury for $1 a year then there should be no reason for them to close the Glavin. Obviously they’re not concerned on the $13 million they’re going to be missing out on, so money can’t be their cause for concern when closing the Glavin.


  6. Mary Ann Ulevich
    October 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks David for keeping this issue in the forefront. What suggestions do you and others have for advocacy about this? With the elections taking up so much energy and attention, I suspect that candidates are not paying much attention to this. I know my state senator, Mike Moore, has been pro-active with trying to get a comprehensive audit, and he has been a friend to COFAR as well.
    I wonder how much the residents of Shrewsbury know about this…I suspect most would appreciate getting the land for $1. lease. Can they then make improvements to the land and be responsible for its upkeep? The cost is probably not prohibitive, and very worth it to have such great resources.
    So again, what do you suggest we do to keep the issue in the forefront?


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