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The Massachusetts legislature may soon join the struggle to prevent the University from buying the Bennett St. MTA Yards.
Rep. Lawrence F. Feloney of Cambridge will attempt to introduce a bill later this week giving Massachusetts cities and towas in which MTA property is located the "right of first refusal" over any land that the MTA wishes to sell.
Feloney's bill, which would amend the 1947 Act establishing the MTA as a State agency, requires that "the MTA trustees shall first offer to sell any real estate no longer needed for business affairs to the city or town where the property is located."
According to the bill, appraisers representing both the MTA and the city involved would be hired to determine the value of the land, and the MTA would then be required to sell the land for that price. If the city declined to purchase the property, the land would, as under the existing law, be sold to the highest bidder after public advertisement.
Allows Cities to Plan
Although Feloney's bill is apparently another attempt to keep the University, which has offered $1 million above the fair market value, from buying the Bennett St. Yards from the MTA, Feloney asserted last night that he is "only attempting to allow cities to plan the best use of their land."
Before a bill can be presented to the Massachusetts legislature this late in the session, it must receive the consent of both the Reublican and Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate, and must be approved by the votes of four-fifths of the members of each House.
"I imagine that some powerful people don't want my bill admitted," Feloney asserted. "Harvard is a very important institution," he said, "and Harvard officials may feel they know what's best for everyone, including the City of Cambridge."
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