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Candia selectmen decide planning money well spent

CANDIA — After hearing from the planning board, southern planning commission, conservation commission and the road agent, selectmen voted to recommend that funding for Candia’s membership in the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission be restored.

Selectmen voted to remove the $2,500 membership fee from the proposed 2014 budget in September, but after hearing pleas to restore the money, spearheaded by planning board Chairman Sean James, the board decided to ask the budget committee that the funding be restored.

“I know that the budget is an issue. It’s an issue every year, but the southern planning commission is a valuable resource to planning boards and zoning boards for town’s like Candia that do not have a full time planning staff. They are where we go when we have questions, and they have resources we don’t have,” James said.

James added that for every dollar the town spent on its membership last year, it received about $8 of value in return.

David Preece, the commision’s executive director, said the sole purpose of the commission is to provide technical assistance to towns that need it.

“Just this year alone we provided traffic planning analysis and did 19 intersections of traffic counting in Candia alone along with two road safety audits on troubling intersections for the townspeople. In the past we have been instrumental in bringing brownfields cleanup money to Candia, in fact we are in the process of applying for a new one because there is a need in our communities and we want to make sure they are addressed,” Preece said.

Preece added that every service provided to Candia has fallen under the scope of its membership fee, and that not an extra dollar was needed for the services.

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