Borings to Determine Quality - and Value - of Patton Soil This Week
Borings will be taken this week from soil on the Patton property that could possibly be valuable septic gravel.
It should be clear by the end of the week the value of some of the fill on the Patton property, which is soon to be owned by the town government.
The estate, off Asbury Street near the Topsfield town line, was home to General George Patton and his son, Maj. General George Patton. Town Meeting voters overwhelming voted in May to accept the 27-acre property. The town is on schedule to close on the property by Aug. 15, the deadline set in the gift agreement, Town Manager Michael Lombardo told the Board of Selectmen on Monday night.
On Monday, Lombardo said he met with attorneys representing Joanne Patton, who made the donation to the town, and discussed “modest things that need to be cleared up.”
The prospect that valuable septic fill gravel may be on the property first came up several weeks ago, after the Patton Family Gift Committee was alerted to the possible presence of the soil in a tall hill on the property by Joanne Patton. An early estimate was that the gravel might be worth $1 million to $2 million.
“It is unlikely that it is the Woodbridge fine sandy loam,” Lombardo said and instead Hinckley fine gravel, which is less valuable.
Once it is clear what type of soil it is, and how valuable it might be, Lombardo said the information will be given to Gale Associates – which has already done some site layout based on feedback from the Patton Family Gift Advisory Committee. With detailed information about the soil Gail will be able to “get more serious” and finalize a plan for the property, including the placement of athletic fields.
Lombardo said he is working with John Tomasz, Department of Public Works director, to have borings taken this week that will definitely determine the soil type.
When the Gift Committee met about three weeks ago it sought to get information from borings to get a better idea of the feasibility of extracting the gravel.
“We’ll know what is definitely in that embankment by week’s end or shortly thereafter,” Lombardo said.