Friends of Freeland still working toward goal

"It's one step at a time for the Friends of Freeland as they move toward the purchase of rural acreage for preservation. In spite of a June 15 deadline to meet its financial goal of raising approximately $615,000, the Friends' bid to buy 18 acres in the heart of Freeland's commercial area is inching forward. The process has been extended based on the length of time it is taking to schedule commercial appraisal. Commercial appraisers are really busy right now, said Herb Hunt, a founder of Friends. So it is a matter getting the appraisal done and processed. Hunt said commercial appraisals are more complex than residential appraisals and due to the Friends status as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, a commercial appraisal is required.We are required by the bank to have a commercial appraisal of three of the four lots, Hunt said. The three lots, A B and C, are zoned Rural Center. Lot D comprises 12 acres of rural land, of which three acres are wetland, he said.Another financial deadline has not yet been set. We are in the process of working with owner Chris Kelly and solidifying the amount of time the process--commercial appraisal--will take. We can't close on the property without the appraisal, Hunt said.Friends of Freeland is continuing to raise money to purchase the 18 acres at the intersection of Scott and Newman roads for use as a nature preserve and study area. Hunt estimated earlier this month that about $80,000 had been raised. Last Saturday night the Friends held a fund-raiser at Teddy's in Freeland. About 135 people paid $8 apiece to hear peformances by Janie Cribbs and her band.It was a great success. A real show of community support for the project, Hunt said. "

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