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Merrow tries to donate land to town's conservation commission

November 03, 2011
OSSIPEE— A selectman here is continuing in his quest to donate two pieces of riverfront property to the town's Conservation Commission.

Last month, Selectman Harry Merrow deeded the property to the commission but was later informed by the town's attorney that donations of land must first go through two public hearings and go to public hearing at a planning board and Conservation Commission meeting.

Commission member Ralph Buchanan told the planning board that the commission plans to pay all legal expenses related to the donation as well as maintenance and upkeep of the properties. The properties are located between the Beech River and Annie Nichols Road, 4.3 acres with an assessed value of $41,800.

Buchanan said the commission plans to install two parking spaces and picnic table open to the public.

At their meeting last month, the planning board voiced several concerns and asked for more information. They were concerned that no port-a-potties are being installed at the location and taking these properties off the town's tax rolls adds additional burden to the rest of the town's taxpayers. There was also concern that the Conservation Commission already owns many properties, several that no one knows where exactly they are located.

A quick review of the town's assessment records shows the Conservation Commission has oversight of at least 37 properties with a combined acreage of about 394 acres and value of about $1,671,780. The properties include 29 small parcels behind Indian Mound Shopping Center, 26 acres on Broad Bay Road, 11 acres off Foggs Ridge Road, the fish hatchery property and buildings on Route 16, the nine-acre town forest on Route 16 and the property under development with a newly installed scenic vista known as Windows on the Ossipees on Route 16.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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