Salem News article.
There are a couple of questionable statements in the very first paragraph. First is the notion that the selling price was $31.4M. Actually, $2.4M of that was back rent which was not compensation for the land and which is not required to be considered part of the corpus of the Trust. Second is this persistent notion in the media that the controversy has “divided the town”. A Town Meeting vote of 500-89 to oppose the sale is not exactly indicative of a wide gulf in public opinion.
It is also not true that $40.6M is the assessed value. $40.5M is the value of the land if kept as a rentable asset according to an average of the four appraisals that were done. The Trust also had about $6M in debt, leaving it with net assets of about $34.5M on August 8th. So given that the value of the corpus of the Trust is now about $22.5M, that means that the Trust assets took a $12M haircut on August 9th, or a little more than 1/3 of its value.
So if anyone doubts whether the effort and expense we are putting in is “worth it”, we would say that recovering that $12M, not to mention recovering the landowner’s legal right to control seasonal use, should be understood to be very good incentives.