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Groveton Acquisitions to gift half acre to town

March 03, 2011
NORTHUMBERLAND — The town selectmen discussed a number of topics at Monday night's meeting including safety glass for the town hall, new welcome signs and snow removal, but none sounded more uplifting than the almost done deal of a gift of land to the town as well as a possible new business moving in.

Selectman Rob Gauthier confirmed that at tonight's 7 p.m. Planning Board meeting inside the town hall there will be preliminary presentation for a commercial retail structure to be built in town. "It is good news if it can bring jobs," he said.

The large 8,000 by 11,000 sq. ft. building is proposed to be built not far past the soccer fields on Route 3 heading out of town. The Selectmen declined to give further information as they have yet to know any more details themselves and suggest interested parties attend tonight's meeting.

They did confirm, however, that the town has just a few hoops to jump through before acquiring 0.42 acres where the old Eagle Hotel used to sit, just outside the town hall.

"We have an agreement with Groveton Acquisitions LLC," said Selectman Jim Tierney. "They are going to donate that piece of property to the town. There is no cost, there is no quid pro quo, we're not giving them anything and they did not ask for anything."

The Planning Board will discuss the land donation tonight, as will the Conservation Committee on Thursday, as both need to include their input. It is also a requirement to hold two public hearings before the deal is finalized. The public hearings have yet to be announced.

The Selectmen unanimously approved a project from Groveton Cub Scouts Pack 233 to refurbish the welcome signs coming into town. This would include three signs for all three town entrances. The cost of the project is estimated at $2,500 with no cost to the town. The creation of the signs will be done using local businesses (through competitive bid) and as for sign design the Pack would like to involve the schools in town. Students can enter the contest by donation of a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry. Submissions would have to be completed by a certain date which has yet to be announced.

In keeping with the reason for moving into the new town hall of safety first, the front desk and tax collector's office will have a safety glass enclosure in the near future.

The safety glass will keep anyone from jumping over the front desk as it "doesn't do any good for somebody to get out of line and put other people at risk," said Selectman Mario Audit.

The cost of the new safety precaution is $3,600 and will be removable in case the town does not decide to stay in the current town hall.

"It's not going to be in the approved budget, we're going to have to find it," said Gauthier of the expenditure.

The board also addressed complaints they have been hearing about snow removal in town.

Basically what it came down to is that town funds are not allowed to go towards plowing private property. The only exception was the recent removal of the snow pile at the corner of Church and State Street that was on the Caron Gateway Realty's property. The snow pile was deemed hazardous as it kept drivers from checking for incoming traffic at the fork and removed. The pile is the equivalent of a snowbank in some-one's driveway that they themselves have the right to plow into a mound.

"The lawyers told us we can't tell them they can't plow it there," said Selectman Jim Tierney on the Caron snow pile.

The Selectmen also wanted to note that the ballot voting for the March 8 elections will be held at the town hall and the town meeting will be in the Groveton High School Gymnasium.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Alton School
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