The University's chances of purchasing the MTA Bennett St. yards took a turn for the better yesterday, when Gov. Foster Furcolo recommended that the Legislature exercise its option to take over the New Haven Railroad's Old Colony Line.
At present, the Old Colony Codman Sq. yard has the only facilities in the area that could replace the extensive maintenance shops across from Kirkland House. The lack of an adequate substitute has hitherto proven a major stumbling block in negotiations for the site, where the University hopes to erect a tenth House.
Furcolo's action came after the Legislature had killed a bill authorizing the purchase of the South Shore line late last week. The bill had directed the Commonwealth to buy the line for $1,150,879, following the New Haven's abdication because of the great expense involved in the operation.
The New Haven had asserted it could not continue operations without a subsidy from the Commonwealth, such as it received under an agreement last year. The suspension of operations has forced commuters to find other transportation and has led to considerable traffic congestion at rush hours in the South Shore area previously handled by the line.
In another development on the Bennett St. yard, Rep. John J. Campbell (Dem.) disclosed yesterday that he will propose by Dec.7 a bill to study the best means of Cambridge and for interested institutions and businesses.
Last year, Campbell co-sponsored a bill to levy a payment equivalent to 99 years property taxes on any tax-exempt institution that might purchase the yards. The bill died in the Ways and Means Committee.
Campbell declared that the new bill contains no such tax provision. He said, however, that taxes accruing from proper use of the land might mean a $10 tax reduction for all the citizens of Cambridge.