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This Day in Norwood History-October 10, 1940-Willett Committee Reports on Westover

Urges Early Start Of Building Program And Offers Alternate Suggestions Toward That End

Preliminary plan for

Expressing the opinion that the development of the West- over and Holmvood areas along the general lines outlined by George F. Willett is for the best interests of the town, its citizens, industries and merchants, the special committee appointed some time ago by the to study the Willett situation urges, in a report submitted to the Board, that development of the property begin without further , and to this end offers three alternate suggestions.

The committee includes , Maurice S. Baker, Carl Johnson, , and William C. Hyland.

The report offers the result of a three months study of the Willett program, outlines the town’s position in the matter, reports on conferences with Mr. Willett and representatives of a financial firm interested in the development of the Holmwood and Westover properties, and expresses an opinion that it would be a move toward the best interests of the community if Mr. Willett would enter into a agreement with the company that would see the beginning- of construction of 20 or 30 homes before the first of the yeaç.

Inasmuch as certain parcels of land in Holmwood on which homes would be built first are in tax , thus holding up financial backing, alternate suggestions are offered by the committee whereby the way would be cleared for the immediate beginning of home construction.

In its report to the Selectmen. the committee said:

“Your committee appointed for the purpose of studying the proposed plans for residential development of the properties controlled by Mr. George F. Willett and determining what action, if any, by

the Town is necessary ns a prerequisite to the commencement of this development, and what action, if any, by the Town is necessary to further, to accelerate, and to continue this development, now makes its initial report. ‘The committee held its first on June 12. 1946. At this meeting, the committee organized with William C. Kendrick as and Maurice Baker as secretary. Mr. Willett attended this meeting and submitted his plan for the development of the Westover and Holmwood areas.

“The committee held its second meeting on June 19, 1946. On the invitation of the committee, Mr. Willett attended this meeting and discussed his real organizations and interests, his development plans, and his initial financing plans for Holmwood. He stated that this financing was to be provided by Allied Building Credits. Inc., with whom he had negotiated through its District Manager in . Mr. E. H. Hall.

“The third meeting was held on August 8, . On the invitation of the committee. Mr. Willett and Mr. Hall attended this meeting The committee discussed with Mr. Hall his company’s prerequisites for providing the financing for Mr. Willett. Mr. Hall informed the committee that the only requisite of his company is that the land on which new homes are to be built must be free and clear of all encumbrances such as prior mortgages, tax liens, etc. Since the only encumbrances on the Holmwood holdings are the back taxes. Mr. Hall stated that it will be necessary for Mr. Willett to clean up the matter of the present back laxes now existing on that property before his company can do any construction financing.

Mr. Willett has informed the committee that the total taxes on the entire Holmwood area in amount to approximately $19.000.00

“Mr. Hall stated that his company would naturally start the development in that section of Holmwood abutting Walpole street and to get this development underway would require the payment of the back taxes on the parcels abutting Walpole street which amount to approximately $9,000.00. This area would accommodate at least 25 or 35 houses and Mr. Hall stated that his company would be happy to go along with Mr. Willett on a basis of 20 or 30 houses to be started this year.

“Other meetings of the committee were held on August 22, August 29, and September 19, 1946. At these meetings, all information which had been furnished to the committee was reviewed and discussed.

“The committee unanimously is of the opinion that the development of the Westover and Holm-wood areas in accordance in general with the plans prepared by Mr. Willett is for the best interests of the , its citizens, taxpayers, industries, and merchants and that these interests can best be served by the commencement and continuation of this development without further delay. To this end the committee makes the following alternate suggestions:

(1) That Mr. Willett, if the present free cash position of his organization permits, pay the taxes on the Holmwood parcels abutting Walpole street which amount to approximately $9,000.00, and enter
into a construction agreement with Allied Building Credits, Inc., for the immediate construction of 20 to 30 houses in the $7,000.00 sale price bracket and that the profits from this initial development be utilized to clear the back taxes on the remaining parcels in the Holmwood area so that the further development of the area may then progress, without interruption.

(2) That Mr. Willett raise the necessary money ($9,000.00) to pay the taxes on the Holmwood parcels abutting Walpole street by encumbering other of his holdings outside the Holmwood area and then proceed as in the first suggestion.

(3) That the Town acquire the 14 acres abutting Wilson street and shown on Mr. Willett’s plan as an extension of the Wilson street playground and that the proceeds of this sale be transferred by the Town, under an agreement with Mr. Willett, to the to clear the taxes on the Holmwood parcels abutting Walpole street and then proceed as in the first suggestion. In making this third alternate suggestion, the committee has in mind that the agreement with Mr. Willett for the acquisition of this area by the Town should be made co-incident with and conditional upon, Mr. Willett’s construction agreement with, the financing company in accordance with the progressive development program outlined in the first suggestion.

require the acquisition of this proposed playground extension at this time but if the purchase is handled in the manner suggested no cash outlay by the Town will be required and the Town will benefit from the taxable values created by the development of Holmwood. “The committee plans no further meetings or action on its assignment until these suggestions have had the attention of the Board of Selectmen and the committee is informed of the decisions of the Board.”

The Selectmen have temporarily laid the report on the table and will take a week to consider the report in detail, meanwhile submitting the playground proposition to for an expression of opinion on the advisability of the town acquiring additional playground property.

October 10, 1940 –

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