Local Government and Politics, News

Nahant receives $3 million check for eminent domain ahead of Town Meeting

Nahant officials, from left, Josh Antrim and Mark Cullinan formally accept a $3 million donation presented by Emily Potts of Nahant Preservation Trust to aid in the effort to enact eminent domain over East Point surrounded by supporters. (Julia Hopkins)

NAHANT — The town officially received $3 million in donated funds to aid in efforts to enact eminent domain over Northeastern University’s East Point property. 

The money — given by multiple anonymous donors through nonprofit organization Nahant Preservation Trust — was gifted to the town during a formal ceremony in front of Nahant Town Hall Tuesday afternoon. 

“To ensure there’s no uncertainty amongst the voters at Town Meeting on May 15, the $3 million is being donated ahead of the meeting so voters will know with absolute certainty that the privately-donated funds are in the hands of Nahant,” Board of Selectmen Chair Joshua Antrim told The Item. “It’s worth noting that this money may be used for costs related to eminent domain and will be spent prior to any money coming from Nahant taxpayers.”

In April of this year, Nahant’s selectmen voted unanimously to place an article on the annual Town Meeting warrant that, if passed, would allow Nahant to use Community Preservation Act funds — which are used for public areas of need, including affordable housing, historic resources and recreational spaces — to enact eminent domain over East Point and declare the property a wildlife preserve, thus protecting it from future development. 

“This donation is a remarkable act of generosity and civic support for the town of Nahant,” Antrim said. “A donation of this size to Nahant, with a population of approximately 3,400 people and the smallest land area of any town in Massachusetts, is a newsworthy event.”

As he addressed the crowd of about two dozen residents, including members of Nahant Safer Waters In Massachusetts (SWIM) and Nahant Preservation Trust, Selectman Mark Cullinan praised the community effort he said was involved in the donation. 

“It takes a village, and the village really stepped up,” Cullinan said. “I’ve been involved in town government for almost three decades now, and very seldom do I see so many people get together for a cause like this. It’s truly inspiring.” 

Nahant residents will vote on the issue during Saturday’s Town Meeting, which is scheduled to begin at noon on the Flash Road athletic fields.

More Stories From Nahant