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Plan Pinardville ‘fiasco’ fuels bid to limit Goffstown board’s powers

GOFFSTOWN — Two petition articles calling for increased safety on one town road and another restricting the Board of Selectmen’s authority will appear on the March ballot.

About 50 registered voters signed a petition article asking voters to rescind the selectmen’s authority to apply for, accept and expend unanticipated money from state, federal government or private sources.

The intent, said resident Gaetane Benner, is to prevent funds such as grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, from dictating the types of housing that can be developed in Goffstown.

“Right now, the selectmen have the authority to accept grants and donations, and it doesn’t go to voters and that’s what got us in trouble with accepting the $50,000 grant for Plan Pinardville,” she said.

Benner said the Ready, Set, Go program could also be a threat to the town. The program promotes economic development in several areas across the state and the country, according to

“We don’t want another fiasco like Plan Pinardville,” Benner said.

She said 224 acres near the women’s prison is zoned commercial/industrial, and could be a prime location for low-income housing, a type of development Benner and many other residents voiced their objections to during the Plan Pinardville project.

“It’s county land and if the county wants to make money, it could sell it for development after the women’s prison moves to Concord,” Benner said. “It could be low-income housing and it’ll make our taxes go up.”

Benner said she hopes the petition article will prevent similar programs from Goffstown.

“That would be a good thing so people can vote on what our selectmen and boards are doing beforehand. We want to be involved. I care and I’m afraid our town will eventually go bankrupt,” she said.

The other petition calls for reducing the speed limit on Tyler Drive from 30 mph to 25 mph. The petition has been signed by about 30 registered voters.

Tyler Drive resident Michael Pelletier said he is concerned about the safety of the 15 children who live on the street.

Tyler Drive is a cul-de-sac and only about one-third of a mile long, with about 30 homes.

“What raised my concern was what happened in Pinardville, when that boy was struck by a car,” he said, referring to Alex Reed, the 10-year-old who was struck by a car while walking across Mast Road on Oct. 16. “Similar streets like the spice streets are at 25 mph.”

He said attempts have been made to reduce the speed limit on Tyler Drive but to no avail.

“If I needed 100 or 200 signatures I could have easily got that. I hope the selectmen take a neutral stance or support it because efforts over the past 15 years have been unsuccessful. I’d like to know why the highway safety committee considers 30 mph safer than 25 mph,” Pelletier said. “It’s old-fashioned democracy at play here, and I hope the leaders of our town would take a more active leadership role in safety. I’m just looking for safety on my dead-end street.”

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