Whatever The Process Leading To IHM Building Fee Will Ultimately Be Considered Fair
To The Editor:
As a 35-year resident of Old Ayer Road and a neighbor of Don Priest, then Andrew Rosenberger, and finally Indian Hill Music Center, I feel that the current controversy over the Indian Hill Music Center is unfair and misleading.
Allow me to sketch a brief history. When Don Priest died, many people feared that his property would go for development and one of the most beautiful open spaces in Groton would be ruined. Fortunately, Andrew Rosenberger stepped in and negotiated a deal with the Town of Groton and the State of Massachusetts to purchase the property at a steep discount with an agricultural restriction.
For many years his orchard thrived. He started a pick-your-own operation with hayrides provided by our mutual neighbor Roy MacGregor. These fall Saturdays were so successful that people came out from Boston and miles around to bring their children and have a wonderful day in the country. The traffic was so crowded that the Rosenbergers wound up hiring off-duty police to manage it and the slow-moving hay wagons. We did not mind the inconvenience.
Then Andrew got old. He was no longer able to sustain the effort required to support this ambitious enterprise. Gradually the property deteriorated. Finally he died and his son tried very hard to revive the business. He was unsuccessful and finally put the property up for sale.
Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for him, the agricultural restriction made the property almost unsalable. As the process dragged on, the property become more and more decrepit and was overgrowing with scrub, and we (the neighbors) despaired that it would become an eyesore.
Enter Indian Hill. With Indian Hill’s purchase of the property, its fortunes reversed. At their expense, the field across the road was cleared, old trees removed, and the bottomland planted to hay. They are in the process of rebuilding the stonewall that borders the orchard on the house side of the street, to the delight of everyone who drives by and to our great relief. To say that we are grateful for their efforts and welcome their presence would be an understatement.
It is impossible for Indian Hill to say how many jobs will be created or what the ultimate financial benefit will be to the town. We have a beautiful new hotel and will soon have a world-class music center. I’m expecting that both will improve our economic climate.
Also, I must say that this is not a commercial building, considering that Indian Hill Music is a non-profit educational institution. I believe that whatever building fee negotiated, whatever the process, will ultimately be considered fair.
As a neighbor a few driveways down I welcome Indian Hill and am grateful to put up with the small inconveniences that a successful operation will produce, in order to benefit from the wonderful facility, the beautiful field and magnificent wall.
Eric S. Fisher
Old Ayer Road