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April 2017

REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES                                                                                                     
APRIL 2017
                                                                               “THE MCLOON PROPERTY”

Traveling on Main Street to Tyngsboro many of you may look over as you pass the McLoon Barn at the entrance of town and wonder what will happen to the McLoon property. 

The short answer is that the DRLT envisions that the McLoon property will remain “as-is” retaining its present character which was the wish of Olive F. McLoon when she bequeathed her property to the Trust which wishes to preserve the entrance to the Town of Dunstable.

Shortly before her passing in 2011, Mrs. McLoon approached the DRLT to inquire about our interest and willingness to accept a bequest of her property consisting of approximately 120 acres with two houses and a historic barn.  
Mrs. McLoon hoped that the property be maintained for farming and conservation purposes subject to a conservation restriction.

The Trust agreed to accept the property, subject to a life estate to be held by her son, Ronald McLoon, who had periodically used the farm to raise vegetables.  The DRLT expected the term of the life-estate to last many years, but it was cut short by Mr. McLoon’s untimely death in December 2015.

What should have been a simple transfer of the life estate upon Mr. McLoon’s death became more complicated about one month before his passing when it was learned that Mr. McLoon actually held an ownership interest in the real estate bequeathed to the DRLT by his mother.  Because of this lack of knowledge and proper planning, Mr. McLoon's death created some additional hurdles which were compounded by the fact that heirs to his estate reside outside of the United States. Resolution of the title to the McLoon property will be a prolonged process as there are two estates.
It is our intent over the next five to ten years to fulfill Mrs. McLoon's wishes, the DRLT will maintain as much of the open space as possible, preserving the houses and the historic barn with its distinct cupola. 

How will this be accomplished?  The DRLT has assumed responsibility for maintaining the property (using our available funds) to protect our future investment as well as the interests of the heirs to the Ronald McLoon estate. The DRLT anticipates a combination of a capital campaign, possible sale and/or lease of some of the real estate, and the possibility of borrowing funds should the need arise.  At the suggestion of one of the Trust’s most ardent supporters, we recently applied for a grant which, if received, will allow the Trust to begin restoration of the barn and the "cupola.”

Also during this past year, the DRLT:

* contributed funds to enable the Town of Dunstable to purchase land adjacent to the Ferrari Farm (approximately 20 acres)
* provided funds and paid for professional services to enable the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to purchase approximately 15 acres near Forest Street.
* worked with other land owners desiring to permanently protect their properties, either during their lifetimes or in some cases, more importantly to carry out their wishes after death.

The DRLT accomplishments are only possible due to the support of residents of the Town of Dunstable as well as many neighbors and former residents who remain friends of our organization even after relocating outside of our town.  The DRLT continues to monitor our operating expenses to insure they are limited to insurance and maintenance costs.  The DRLT utilizes the major portion of contributions received for legal and other professional services to protect property, either to be owned the Trust or retained by the landowner and protected in perpetuity by conservation restrictions.
The DRLT, throughout-right ownership and/or conservation restrictions held by the Dunstable Civic Trust, currently maintains in excess of 1,000 acres, principally in Dunstable.  The DRLT website (drlt.org) provides is a great resource to keep on top of what is happening throughout the year. 


The trustees are very appreciative of the support received since inception and thank you in advance for your continued confidence in the mission of the Trust.

Trustees of the Dunstable Rural Land Trust
April 2017
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