As noted previously, Governor Patrick did not sign House 701. He did commit to conduct the appraisal contemplated by House 701. I am satisfied with this outcome — the bill would have accomplished nothing more.
Confirmation of the appraisal commitment has now arrived in the form of the attached letter from Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Richard Sullivan.
The Secretary makes clear in his letter that no state funds are available for the purchase of the property — that was already understood, but it is useful to have full clarity on the point.
I am confident that the Secretary will follow through on his commitment in a timely way. Once the appraisal is complete, it will be up to private citizens and the communities of Arlington, Cambridge and Belmont to determine whether they feel that purchase of the property is a feasible option to further study.
I will continue to be in touch with the Secretary to confirm the schedule for the appraisal and to understand parameters of the appraisal process — public comment may or may not be an appropriate component of that process.