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Barnstead Development Group brings forward two Warrant articles


December 29, 2010
BARNSTEAD — Mike Kowalski, representing the Barnstead Development Group (BDG), met with the board of selectmen at its Dec 21 meeting. The BDG was created to look for ways to bring new business into the town in hopes of expanding and blending tax revenues.

"Our basic mission is to make business grow," Kowalski told the board. "There are a lot of things that will need to be looked at. This is not an overnight fix."

He asked the board to consider two Warrant articles that he had prepared. The first asks to allocate funds into capital reserve for marketing efforts and the other would authorize tax increment financing (TIF), which would be used as an incentive for new businesses.

Board chair Jim Barnard was skeptical.

"With Route 28 being a controlled access highway and no water system, we don't really have a lot to offer, at this point," he noted.

Selectman Dave Kerr felt that there should be an update to the master plan, before moving forward. Selectmen Andy Houle and Bob LaRoche felt that the BDG was on the right track.

"I think we should put both Warrants out there and let the taxpayers decide," said Houle

Kowalski, seeming somewhat frustrated, told the board he wanted the board's support.

"I don't want to put in hours and hours bringing someone to the table only to have you not follow through." Houle motioned to accept both articles, Selectman Kathy Grillo seconded. The motion passed with LaRoche voting yes and Barnard and Kerr voting no.

The board voted unanimously to accept, with deep regret, the resignation of firefighter and paramedic, Will Bartels. He is leaving due to time issues stemming from two other jobs he currently holds. Bartels has served the town for 22 years in various capacities both in the fire department and on various boards and committees.

"I know I speak for every member of the board when I say that the door will always be open for Will, if he chooses to come back," Barnard said.

The board held a public meeting to discuss and accept $53,460 in funds from FEMA. These monies are reimbursements for costs stemming from the floods in 2007. Barnard reviewed the procedures and indicated that all requirements for a public meeting had been properly executed. With no public input, Kerr motioned to accept the funds, Houle seconded and the vote was unanimous. The board had previously determined that the funds would be used to reduce the tax rate.

The board meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at its office in Town Hall.

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