Heritage Commission Tackles Several Agenda Items

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Nadine Miller came to last week’s Heritage Commission meeting to discuss Londonderry’s status as a Certified Local Government and to share opportunities for state grant funding available to Londonderry for historic preservation activities.

According to a state website, the “Certified Local Government (CLG) program is designed to provide an opportunity for local governments to become more directly involved in identifying, evaluating, protecting, promoting and enhancing the educational economic value of local properties of historic, architectural and archeological significance.”

Londonderry is one of twenty-four NH communities to receive the CLG designation. Part of the CLG requires the formation of a Heritage Commission or similar entity that is active in community preservation. Londonderry has been a CLG for many years. Miller shared that Londonderry is doing well but needed to establish a set of by laws for the Heritage Commission.

The CLG program requires that the Division of Historical Resources designate at least 10 percent of its annual Historic Preservation Fund allocation from the Department of the Interior to local governments that have become Certified Local Governments.

Miller told the Commission that $65K in grants are available this year. Grants could be used for such things as surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, preservation planning and educational projects. Some grants are outright grants, while others are funding to 60% with town having to kick in the remaining 40%.

Fire Chief Darren O’Brien showed visuals of the upcoming changes to Central Fire Station. The Commission was happy with the plans. The expanded station will be approximately three times the size of the current station. O’Brien shared that the recent federal import tariffs and a tight labor force are putting cost pressures on the project, but he vowed to stay within the budget set by the voters.

Maillet & Associates came back to the Commission after getting conditional approval from the Planning Board to move the Everything Essential spa to new space at 6 Mohawk Drive. The proposed two-story building will have 5,840 square feet including the spa and leasable office space on the second floor.

In an earlier review of plans the Commission expressed concerns about the design. The Planning Board took that feedback into consideration and made it a condition of approval that Maillet & Associates come up with a design that satisfies the Commission. The Commission thought the new design was much better and granted their approval.

Next up, the Commission reviewed a plan from RESCOM Environmental Corporation on behalf of Sprint to add cellular equipment to an abandoned smokestack located at 516 Mammoth Road. The tower would be strapped to the smokestack and would not protrude any higher than the smokestack.

The Commission requested more information about the condition of the smokestack and pictures of the associated shed that would accompany the tower. They also asked to see a maintenance plan for the smokestack.

Kent Allen provided an update on the work in the town forest. A variety of work has been done by Kent and other helpers. In addition, he shared that over $4,000 in donations had been raised from 22 donors to support ongoing improvements.

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