Agreement would get water to 61 Business Park Drive


January 12, 2011
TILTON — The Life Safety Building Committee had reached an agreement with landowner Clark "Casey" Nickerson to split the cost of bringing a water main into Business Park Drive, therefore increasing the value and development possibilities of the town-owned property at 61 Business Park Drive as well as several vacant parcels Nickerson currently owns.

While voters rejected plans for a Life Safety Building at that location, Tilton has continued to fund the Life Safety Building Committee, changing their charge to that of finding a location for a new police station instead. One drawback they found to the property off Route 132 was the lack of a sufficient water supply to allow for sprinklers in the building. The option of tying in to the water district through Route 3 businesses would have been costly and an opportunity to tap into the water tank behind Home Depot passed by when the company replaced their tank but did not install one large enough to supply both their business and the town-owned building.

Board of Selectmen Chair and LSBC member Pat Consentino told the board last week that Nickerson has now agreed to split the estimated cost of $550,000 for hooking up to the water district off Route 132.

"This is huge. It would open that whole area up to other businesses and bring tax dollars and jobs into Tilton," she said.

A 3-percent USDA loan is available to make the project more affordable. Consentino said the total cost to Tilton would be in the neighborhood of $275,000 for engineering plans and construction. That investment could generate more income for the town in the long run, she said. Should the town decide to sell 61 Business Park Drive, the availability of water would help attract potential buyers. If the town holds on to the site, anyone else building along that road would in turn pay Nickerson and the Town of Tilton to tie in to those water lines and the town would receive more tax dollars for construction on the lots.

"Whether we go through with a police station there or not, this is a win-win situation. I think we should think seriously about going along with Mr. Nickerson and presenting a warrant article at Town Meeting in March," Consentino said.

Selectman David Wadleigh questioned the feasibility of installing a cistern and pump on the town property instead but Consentino explained the LSBC found it would cost $150,000 for a cistern big enough to provide enough water to sprinkle just that one building and it would not be enough for the small adjoining lot the town owns nor any new construction in the area.

"There are eight or nine parcels of land that would also benefit from our doing this with Mr. Nickerson and we would recoup some of that expense when people build on them," she said.

Wadleigh agreed the proposal made good sense as both Nickerson and the town would benefit.

With warrant articles due for submission in February selectmen said they will need to act quickly to meet the deadline. They agreed to sit down with the LSBC and "iron out the details" of a more formal agreement with Nickerson and get a warrant article prepared.

Voters in March will be presented with two separate articles for construction of a police station, one at 61 Business Park Drive and another along Route 3. Costs for the water line construction will be included in the article pertaining to the Business Park Drive location. They will have the option to select either location for the police department, but should they vote for the Route 3 site, the newest warrant article will allow them to decide whether to bring water into the park and improve the property for future use or sale.

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