Notos hosts question and answer webinar

Apr 8, 2021

The Notos Group held a question and answer webinar for citizens last night in an attempt to dispel “rumors” and make sure everyone had the facts, according to company spokespeople.

In addition to Notos Group members Will and Mackenzie O’Connell and Attorney Jeffery Tocchio, two members of the Wareham Board of Selectmen were on the call: Judith Whiteside and Alan Slavin. 

The meeting largely covered well-worn territory: What is the size of the district? It’s 756 acres, and Notos has 275 under contract.

What will be built there? The company claims to have no real idea, but says they are getting lots of good ideas from locals.

Slavin said that as someone with a background in both finance and conservation, he likes to look 40 years down the road when making decisions, and thinks that rezoning will be a smart decision for the town’s finances.

The panelists also discussed concerns about potential development’s impact on the aquifer. Whiteside said that the aquifer is so large that it extends under eight towns, including as far as Duxbury, and said that Rte. 25, which is uphill from Onset’s wells, has been around for several decades and never caused any contamination issues.

Frank Mahady of FXM Associates rebutted the rebuttal made to his economic reports. He was hired by Notos to look at the impact of covid on the town’s finances and to see how the town would be impacted if the land Notos has under contract was used for single family homes instead – the only use allowed under current zoning. 

He concluded that the town could lose up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually if homes were built on the land. 

Economist Frederic B. Jennings, Jr., Ph.D., of Econologistics, was hired by Trout Unlimited to rebut that claim. Jennings argued on Tuesday night that FXM was undervaluing the homes and overestimating the costs to town services. 

Mahady said Wednesday night that Jennings was “dead wrong,” and defended his work. His complete response to Jennings, in written form, is attached to this article.