TOWN OF BRADFORD
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Special Town Meeting June 16, 2014
To the inhabitants of the Town of Bradford in the County of Merrimack in said State qualified to vote in town affairs;
You are hereby notified to meet at the Bradford Elementary School on Old Warner Road in said Bradford, NH on Monday evening, the sixteen of June next at 7:00 o’clock in the evening to act on the following article:
Article One: To see if the town will authorize the sale of town-owned property, Tax Map 6 and Lot 102, upon such terms as may be negotiated by the Selectmen.
Please note: Due to the numerous amount of speakers, these notes have been abridged. A detailed audio account of Special Town Meeting is available on CD at the Town Administrators office and online at http://www.bradfordnh.org/departments/forms/mp3-files/
Brackett Scheffy opened the meeting at 7:05 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. 106 people attended.
Brackett stated that the rules for procedure where the same as the regular Town Meeting. He also stated that any reconsiders would have to be brought up quickly after the vote since there is only one Article up for discussion. This Article does not require any written or secret ballots unless requested by seven people in writing beforehand.
John Pfeifle gave a presentation explaining that this was an important opportunity for Bradford to increase the tax base, create jobs, and bring cash to Town, by erecting the building and bringing Tax Map #6 Lot 102 to a Minimum Value of $500,000.00 (L&B) within 18 Months.
The major points of the power point presentation are as follows:
- Base Price of $96,000.00
- $46,000.00 @ Close
- $50,000.00 via 5 Years of Specific Maintenance Service @ $10,000.00 per Year
- Three (3) Years of Sand Removal
- Must Work Together
- Clear Northwest for Building
- Move to Rt. 114 Berm
- Finish with South Berm
- Valued @ $35,000.00 per Year ($105,000.00)
- Total: $201,000.00 ($1,000.00 to pay for Special Meeting)
- Pay Adjustment of $10,000.00 Each Year Value is Short: Year #2 – Year #4 (3 Years)
- Hire Five (5) Employee within 18 Months
- Pay Fine of $7,500 per Employee Short to Town of Bradford each year from Year #2 to Year #4
- Go through Planning Board and Provide a Well Maintained Setting
Harold Wright came to the podium and went over the basic use of the property. He does agree with putting the property back on the tax map but instead of taking an opportunistic sale at the moment, we would rather wait the two to three years, when the sand is gone. That way we can work to a broader base of potential developers. It is a prime place with a prime view coming into town especially when the berm is down and you are able to see more of Route 114.
Mr. Wright was a bit surprised that the individual did not come forth and speak with all of the Selectmen or even go before the Planning Board before the deal even begins in the event there were any issues with what he what planning to do with the property. The individual plans to use the property for sales and repairs on used construction and farm equipment.
Harold Wright feels that we can do better with the property and that an organized three-year plan will better serve the Town.
Sue Reynolds wanted the maintenance fee clarified.
John Pfeifle explained that if the potential buyer does not put the value up to five hundred thousand then the maintenance fee would take effect.
Rob Steiz asked if this bid was going out to other companies.
John said that this would be open to other bidders but they must meet the minimum requirements.
Rob Steiz also pointed out that if we are truly looking to bring businesses into this town, then we cannot dictate where they have to build, and how many people have to be hired.
Don Johnson stated that no matter who buys the property they would still have to go through the Planning Board for approval and did not see how the eighteen months was a practical timeframe. Don also mentioned that if the particulars are not thoroughly worked out, how are we to make a judgment.
John Pfeifle answered that the Selectmen will do it for us and that these are the minimums that they will accept.
Don Johnson asked if this person has the financial backing.
John Pfeifle said that the financials are backed up.
Don Johnson then asked if the financials are backed up then why does the Town have to hold the note.
John Pfeifle stated that we would be first in line.
Dave Camire wanted to know how a town could be a financial organization.
John Pfeifle responded that we were not a financial organization and that the town is trying to bring jobs and business into town by taking an aggressive position. This is just one of the structures that they have provided and if someone would like to take advantage of this, they can.
Geoffrey Hirsch asked whether the sale price of $96,000 was arrived at through discussion with the potential buyer or based on market value.
John Pfeifle said that yes they felt that that became the market value.
Geoffrey Hirsch wanted to know when the bidding process would begin and how long would it be open. In addition, would the town be holding a note.
John Pfeifle said the bidding time was not determined but if someone came in with a better offer, the board would most likely go for that. John also said the buyer was ready and needed to have the facility up and enclosed before winter.
Brewster Caswell wanted to know why a town would want to tell someone how they had to run their business and if he (Brewster) came in and purchased the land for the right price, who can tell him that he cannot leave it as nice piece of land.
Sue Reynolds mentioned that every time the town zones they are telling you what you can and cannot put there. Sue brought up the fact that her area was rural agricultural and now has a commercial property on it. She did not have a choice and now the building is the size of an airplane hangar. This town needs to encourage new business and stop saying no. In three years who knows if someone will even be interested in this property.
Marlene Freyler stated that with all these conditions upon this bid, no other people will come through. She also mentioned that none of the abutters were notified about selling this parcel.
John Pfeifle said that this information was let out because they have an opportunity and believes they should take advantage of this opportunity.
George Angelli asked for a motion to close the debate.
Brackett asked for a motion. Motion Carried.
Brackett read the article again before the hand count.
Yes 19 No 80 Article Did Not Carry
A motion was made to close the meeting. Motion Carried.
The meeting was closed at 8:03 PM on June 16, 2014.
Bradford Board of Selectmen
John Pfeifle, Chairman
Delbert Harris III, Selectman
Harold Wright, Selectman
A true copy attest:
Official town warrant and minutes for the Special Town Meeting of June 16, 2014.
Erica Gross, Town Clerk/Tax Collector