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Town looks to buy Plaistow forest land

Union Leader correspondent

June 30. 2014 7:39PM

PLAISTOW — Hikers in the Plaistow Town Forest could soon have a few more acres to explore.

Pending the final OK from selectmen on July 14, the Conservation Commission is looking to hold a public hearing on the three-acre parcel on the Hampstead border at its July 17 meeting.

The Conservation Commission has already voted to use $11,700 in conservation funds for the purchase of the land.

Although selectmen are supportive of the purchase, they are waiting for some final figures on closing costs and other legal fees at their July 14 meeting before giving official approval for the Conservation Commission to move ahead with the public hearing.

The three-acre parcel is connected to a larger parcel in Hampstead that has the same owner. Hampstead is also moving forward with the purchase of the land on its side of the town line.

Conservation Commission Chairman Jill Senter noted that the parcel is primarily farmland that has been in the same family for four generations. She said the town has looked to purchase the property in the past without success.

“The Plaistow First Committee had recommended we acquire this property,” said Senter. “Now it is available and the owner is willing to sell.”

If the purchase becomes official, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said it could help better connect trails in conservation land in Plaistow with neighboring land in Hampstead and Atkinson.

“Historically, it is a property that was used for farming,” said Fitzgerald. “There are beautiful rock walls that encompass the perimeter of the property.”

Several selectmen said they did not expect there to be any issues with the July 14 vote allowing the Conservation Commission to use its funds to purchase the property. However, Chairman Dan Poliquin said he would like more information on closing costs and other legal issues before the board takes a final vote.

In the meantime, the Conservation Commission is planning to hold a public hearing on the purchase on July 17.

“This is three acres of clean farmland for $11,700,” said Selectman Michelle Curran. “You cannot buy land for $11,700 for three acres. It is a phenomenal deal.”

Environment Plaistow

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