After weeks of back and forth and discussions with their lawyer, the Town Council finally came to an agreement on the topic of the purchase of property on Griffin Road.
The deliberations had been brought to the town’s attention in January and the council found themselves in negotiations with their lawyer on how to handle the situation. Many residents stepped forward to give their opinions on why this property should not be developed and why the wildlife is of importance to them. Ultimately, the town reached a decision on the 66.9 acres on Griffin Road and purchased the property for $720,000.
According to Tom Dolan, after many negotiations the town did receive an additional reduction in the price of the property during those talks.
Also during Monday’s Town Council meeting, Town Manager Kevin Smith told the council he was approached by owners of the Cross Farm property to see if the town would be interested in purchasing property on their land. The owners have proposed selling land to the town that would mean the elimination of approximately 50 homes being built in the area. The developer of this land approached both Smith and the Conservation Commission in their interest of purchasing this land.
The Conservation Commission expressed that although the land is of value, they would not be interested in purchasing this land. Smith did not have an actual appraisal number, but the developer believed it was somewhere in the area of $2.5 million.
Due to the conservation restrictions and the high price, the Conservation Commission felt it was a lot to pay for the land. The value in the property is the wetlands and it is already being protected by the state of NH. Vice-chairman John Farrell felt that this land is of value to the Conservation Commission and should let their agent have a conversation to get more information on this property. Chairman Tom Dolan also expressed the possible option of this being a “multiple choice” deal rather than an “all or nothing” deal. The Conservation Commission felt the property is of value, but the price is too high for them to pay at the moment. Dolan also said the need for space in the future will be of importance, because of the possibility of a new elementary school, but if this property is in an age restricted community, that would be a problem. Since there is interest from both the town and the Conservation Commission, the next step for the town would be to have their agent engage in talks to find out more information about the property and if the price may be lowered.