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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Crystal Lake homeowner balks at city's offer

NEWTON

The city is offering to enter binding arbitration to acquire property on Crystal Lake next to the municipal swimming hole. But Patrick Hannon, owner of the Rogers Road parcel, said Monday that he would refuse the deal announced by Mayor David B. Cohen.

“I would never participate in that,” Hannon said. “He either wants to buy my house at a fair price or he doesn’t.”

The administration earlier had offered $2.3 million for the house. Officials said that was the appraised value they are required to offer. Hannon called it “an insult.”

The one-acre property with house is on the market for $4.5 million. A fire badly damaged the 1924 Colonial not long after Hannon bought the property in 2002.

Hannon has had a long-running battle with the city over a moratorium on demolishing the structure. He said he will tear it down it on Feb. 23, when the moratorium expires.

Hannon said he expects to get plenty of offers after that. “I think once the house comes down, people will see what a beautiful piece of land it is,” he said.

-- Connie Paige

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