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Tillotson Corp. is considering sale of ROW for Northern Pass

November 16, 2011
DIXVILLE — Selling a right-of-way that could be used as a route for the Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) line through the northern reaches of the state "has not been taken off the table," said Tillotson Corp. president Tom Deans in a Sunday afternoon phone call.

Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) contacted the Tillotson Corp, Deans explained.

"Nothing has been decided on that," replied Deans when he was asked whether there was any truth to "a scurrilous rumor" that the board of directors of the Tillotson Corp. is considering selling either an easement or land to NPT.

"We are continuing to look at all options that we have," he said.

"We're still in discussions with parties."

"We should be able to make an announcement before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24)," Deans said.

More people have responded to a solicitation seeking interested buyers now that the board has agreed to consider potential offers from those interested in buying the 7,000 acres of "working" forest separate from The Balsams Hotel and the resort's facilities or The Balsams and its surrounding ancillary facilities severed from the forest.

"Some are interested in the whole parcel and others in pieces," Deans said. Previously, the board would not entertain any offers to purchase that did not include the resort and its 7,000-plus acres.

Both he and the other members of the board of directors are very concerned that area residents have been left in limbo due to The Balsams' shutdown, with many jobless and having a very difficult time surviving financially.

"I think of them every day and I'm working hard to remedy the situation," Deans said.

PSNH parent company, Conn.-based Northern Utilities, PSNH's parent company, and Boston-based NStar are facing steadfast opposition over their plans to run high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines through northern New Hampshire to bring hydro power from Canada, especially in the first 40 or so miles from the US-Canada border to the Northumberland substation where no power ROWs now exist.

NPT has repeatedly explained that it is working with landowners to find an acceptable route in that region.

PSNH senior spokesman Martin Murray has said a number of times, "We do not yet have a new preferred route for the northernmost 40 miles of the project, but, as we stated in April, we're working to find a route that has the support of landowners."

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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