CHINA — The town is postponing talks about public access to China Lake for the near future, at least until the Board of Selectmen can figure out the next step, after voters decided in Tuesday’s election not to buy lakefront property.

Voters in China rejected the town’s proposal to buy The Cabins on Lakeview Drive and turn it into a public park, 1,004—314. The selectmen plan to discuss what is next for public access at China Lake, but it won’t be soon, according to Town Manager Dan L’Heureux.

“It will be on pause for a while, depending on what the selectboard thinks should be done,” L’Heureux said. “We’re going to get some feedback, but not in the near future.”

The town proposed the purchase of The Cabins for $575,000, asking the town to borrow $465,000. The board previously established the China Lake Access Feasibility Committee to find a location suitable for expanded public access and then to have the town vote on it.

“The committee did what it was supposed to do, and we had the vote,” L’Heureux said. “The town was looking for feedback, and we received it.”

The committee declined to comment until it decides how to move forward, according to a text message from Dale Worster, a committee member.

The next step is to figure out whether the voters rejected more public access to China Lake outright or just that particular area, according to L’Heureux.

“We can try to guess why people voted the way they did, but that’s impossible to do,” he said. “On any initiative, the town appreciates the feedback the voting booth gives them.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18, and L’Heureux doesn’t foresee public access at China Lake being a topic of conversation.

“The vote just happened Tuesday, and the agenda for the meeting is already pretty full,” he said. “We’re not sure what the next step is, but it’s in the selectboard’s hands, and they’ll give direction.”

Public access to China Lake has been on the town’s agenda since 2008, when it was described as a major priority for the town in China’s 2008 comprehensive plan.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239[email protected]Twitter: @jessescardina

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