Canterbury, NH Building Needs Committee - 2001

Minutes of Meeting
– August 1, 2001 –
(as reported by Beth Blair from audio recording)



Meeting August 1, 2001 at 7:00 PM at Canterbury Town Hall


Ken Jordan
Bob Fife
Ted West
Kent Ruesswick
Jeremy Slayton
Gordon Jackson
Earl Hall - of the Economic Development Committee
Mike Capone – Selectman Representative

Meeting began at 7 PM, with guest Earl Hall of the Economic Development Committee

Re: Industrial Park at Exit 18

Features of The Property

Economic Development Committee (EDC) committed to getting a tax base from the town land at Exit 18. Have tried to sell all 65 acres there as one parcel, but were unsuccessful. Decided to subdivide.

Surveyed 20 acres out of the 65. Did not deal with the remaining 45 acres since they are across a 70 ft. ravine. (this makes development problematic). However, land on the other side of the ravine is beautiful. There could be visibility from RT. 93 if that was important to prospective customers.

20 acre parcel was subdivided into four 5 acre parcels. Zoning in industrial park is 2 acres, even though parcels are 5acres. If someone wants a smaller parcel, lot line can easily be adjusted. Easier to make a smaller parcel from a big one than to combine several smaller lots to make one big lot.

Did level one environmental assessment. Results were fine.

20 acres appraised at $375,000.

Road was laid out on 20 acre parcel, and topsoil removed in anticipation of development.

Subdivision also done to help out Bill Rice and his business (owns about 11 acres in the park). Initiated land swap with Bill Rice so town could acquire entrance on to West Road.

EDC plans

Earl: We’re aware people think there’s nothing going on down there, but the EDC is trying to protect the interest of the town. EDC doesn’t feel a lot of pressure to develop the site if the development isn’t in the town’s best interest.

Mike: Concern of EDC all along has been not to give the land away. It’s been sitting there for 65 years so far, what’s another 4 or 5 years so long as we can get it developed the way we want.
Seems like development pressure is squeezing down from Exit 20 and up from Exit 15. Soon the land will be more valuable.

EDC wants to bring an intelligent choice to the town.

EDCs big thrust is DON’T INDEBT THE TOWN.

Current Plans for Industrial Park

EDC Talked with Central Regional Development Corporation (CRDC), the group who did the Delta Dental development at exit 15. CRDC is a not for profit corp. who finds customers for development Projects.

Talked with the director (Neil Caher?). Got to the point where the town almost was going to work with CRDC to develop at exit 18. However, town would have taken a back seat to CRDC.

This year EDC decided to do more themselves instead of cutting deal with CRDC. Told CRDC to back off. EDC sent out many packages about the property (to Tamposi, etc.) Some interest, but nothing definite.

Most important hang-up is lack of a road. Prospective buyers don’t want to build the road. EDC wants to, but the town doesn’t.

EDC now applying to a group out of Concord – Community Building Finance Association.

Mike explains:

A town submits an application for a development project. If accepted, funding is "interesting". Say a town puts in an application for $80,000 to build a road. If approved, the town would go out and solicit people to contribute to the plan. Companies who contribute give money to CBFA, and can then take that contribution as a direct tax credit off their bottom line. Banks who make contribution to CBFA get a tax write off too. CBFA takes 20% of the money the town has raised to fund their operation, and give 80% of the money back to us to build the road. So our town would need to raise $100,000 to get the $80,000 we’d need for the road. CBFA has the authority to do this (even though the it sounds like a scam).

Earl thinks we could have already have had construction at exit 18 if town had gone with CDRC, but a lot of equity would have been eaten up by elaborate road with granite curbs, extensive sub-drainage, etc. EDC not sure this type of road necessary.

If the town itself can get the road built, we can go back to CRDC with more equity in the land and be more equal partners.

Idea was as we sold lots, we could use the money to keep extending the road to attract other buyers.Concerning land at exit 18 and the town:

All the time that the EDC has met, they felt that the town would probably want one of the lots.
EDC wouldn’t make a recommendation as to which lot they feel would be the best for the town. Committee feels that use would dictate which lot.

However, there are covenants on the land. Want the industrial park to be esthetically pleasing for all. Don’t want unsightly equipment hanging around, etc.

Kent asks: if Town garage was built there, would equipment need to be kept around back?
Answer: Yes, or building would need to be large enough to house all the equipment and the sand pile all the time.

Ken Jordan asks: So EDC not predisposed to say no to the Town building a public works garage at exit 18?

Earl: No, I don’t see any problems with it so long as the town adheres to the covenants. (Earl will forward the CBNC a copy of the covenants).

Ken Jordan: Part of our discussion was that perhaps building public works garage at exit 18 would breathe life into the development and spur other growth.

Gordon Jackson: Personally think that if the new town garage looks like our other town buildings that prospective buyers will go elsewhere.

Ken Jordan: Is there an advantage or a disadvantage to putting public works at exit 18?

Earl: I would personally hesitate to put municipal building on industrial land in an area where there is the potential to create a considerable tax base for the town. If you take an assessed value per acre of $18,750 and put a 150-500 building on top of that, you’ve created quite a tax base. Multiply by four additional parcels of land, and the town gets a lot. Multiply by only three (if one lot taken up by the garage) and you diminish the return.

Mike: Think the covenants (on the industrial park property) might also restrict Phil Stone’s ability to work (by always having to keep everything neat and covered up).

Ken Jordan: The town is restricted in expanding in many ways. 70% of the land is restricted because we can’t build new roads or new subdivisions. If town needs improvement in municipal buildings that are a tax burden, then it really needs to take care of any resource which will improve the tax base. Since the industrial tax base is limited, too, town must really work to protect it.


EDCs main thrust is to provide a tax base to the town, not to indebt the town and a municipal building is a tax burden, not an addition to the tax base.

Since any land in Canterbury that can be developed is limited, and the industrial park is an especially attractive parcel for development, the EDC wants to be very careful about what goes in there.

EDC working to develop road in industrial park to attract buyers. Feel that this will build equity in the land and help the town be more equal partners in any future development. EDC also thinks that land becoming more valuable as development moves down from exit 20 and up from exit 15.

While EDC not predisposed to say no to town garage at exit 18, any building would have to adhere to covenants on land as far as keeping the industrial park esthetically pleasing so as not to repel prospective buyers.

NOTE: If we assume there is enough land for the town garage to go at the dump, the majority of the committee says yes, that’s the place it should go.CBNC regular business continues:
It’s going to take a few meetings to hash over the pieces, and perhaps a month for the committee to write a recommended plan.

Any items that may be put before the town in March need to be worked on in November to allow time for notices of public meeting, etc.

Kent: We would do well to provide a strong conceptual report including what we have found, what we are facing, what are our options and the recommendations of the committee.

Public Works garage has become the crux of the plan – where does it go?

Mike: Has the cornfield across from the school been considered? Has anyone researched what it would be to purchase it? We’ve rightly concentrated on the land the Town already owns. But if it doesn’t work or if it doesn’t fit, maybe we should look at private parcels that might be available.
Ted West: When studying possibilities for the library, it still seemed more cost effective to use the land the town already has.

Without buying land, we have only three places: center, dump, and exit 18.

Update on Landfill Cap:

The issue of capping landfills is starting to creep onto state radar screens. There are some reserve funds available traced back to 1985 town meeting where funds were set aside for land fill closure costs. Think we’re safe in saying we’ll have money for coring and testing to see extend of landfill. If we can better define where the landfill is, we’ll have a better idea of the room available for building public works garage there. The money will help us to do preliminary work to get ahead of the curve and give the state info before they ask for it. We have more questions then answers now.

Town trying to get info from the state. Is there a legitimate need to cap the dump, or is the state pushing it because of some guideline that doesn’t really apply to us? How much do we have to do to meet state requirements (ahead of time if possible)?

Ted West: Let’s assume there is enough land for the town garage to go at the dump. How do people feel about moving it there? Majority says YES, that’s the place it should go.

Gordon Jackson convinced there is enough room at the dump since the land from burn pit/compost area to Baptist road shouldn’t have landfill in it, only ash from the old incinerator.

Mike: Can’t just start digging out there to see what’s there. State would probably want to be there to observe and make sure land meets their requirements.

Kent feels recycling center and highway department go together since they can share equipment. Departments have similar uses and needs.

We need to keep even minor points in mind (like accessibility to salt and sand for homeowners.)
Is there a possibility of acquiring additional land at dump from abutters? Issue will be pursued. Perhaps we can exchange land for road access or road building?

(Discussion continues while looking at map of recycling center land as to how R. center and Highway Dept. might be organize…maybe Public works and dump can have separate gated entrances so access to sand preserved…if public works moved to the dump the town could probably do most of the work…Mike will be talking to selectmen about capping issue…will pursue land acquisition, though it’s not a simple matter due to a civil dispute concerning landowners adjacent to the dump…)


Committee feels as a whole that a new public works garage would best be sited at the Recycling Center

Points to be resolved:

  • Can we acquire additional land at the dump from the abutters?
  • How far does landfill extend?
  • What is the story on the state requirement to cap the landfill?
  • How much land would we need to build an appropriate Public Works garage?
  • Can we get an estimate on cost of p. w. garage regardless of site?


    The next meeting will be in one week, on 8/8/01 at 7 PM at Canterbury Town Hall.

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