Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy discontinue maintenance efforts

In a letter sent to the Town of Middleton board, the Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy board stated they are discontinuing maintenance efforts at the conservancy.

The letter states that Friends “have made a decision to concentrate our efforts on education in the future.” The letter notes that with the addition of the new Pope Farm Elementary School, educating students “will be very rewarding for our membership.”

The board also wrote, “The Friends have had too many differences with the Town in recent years, and those differences have increased to a point where the Friends no longer wish to be involved with the physical maintenance of the property and the interaction with the Town it requires.”

The Town of Middleton Administrator Greg Dimiceli said when he saw the letter, he was “very disappointed. Extremely disappointed to be honest with you.”

Dimiceli said the Town of Middleton now has to come up with the $10,000 it took per year for the Friends board to maintain the conservancy, which will likely take away from other projects the Town has budgeted for.

“So that level of maintenance out there has been extremely and extraordinarily high, and we probably won’t have that moving forward,” he said.

The #FriendsofPopeFarmConservancy said the last couple years working with the #TownofMiddleton “has not been fun.” They sent a letter saying they will no longer maintain the property but hope to have a better relationship in the future. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/Y8FS9W0tgd

— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) September 17, 2019

The Friends board did not agree to an on-camera interview, but sent a statement saying, “Working with the Town of Middleton these last couple years has not been fun.” They said the board members are all “emotionally connected” with the Pope Farm Conservancy and the vote to discontinue maintenance efforts was “unanimous and sad to the eight members present.”

The letter states that “this is not necessarily a permanent position on the part of the Friends, and we hope there is a possibility of re-establishing a positive working relationship with the Town in the future.”

Dimiceli responded to that statement, and said: “We hope that they do that, but it’s entirely up to them. That’s what this is all about. We need to continue to work cooperatively together, so we can have the very best out here for people to enjoy. That’s what we want and I know that’s what they want.”

The Friends board said it will finish any projects and activities that are already in process for 2019.

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