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Nottingham Board of Selectmen Meeting May 3, 2021

The map of the NH Route 4 Property from the Nottingham Town Office
Steve Soreff, MD
Start Date:Issue Date:

After a warm, pleasant and hopeful spring day, the Nottingham Board of Selectmen (BOS) met Monday at 6:30 PM on May 3, 2021 at the Community Center for the second time this year. For the record, here is the WMUR COVID -19 report for “Nottingham: 8 actives; 303 totals (0 new)” as of May 3, 2021. Present were members of the Board, Ben Bartlett, John Morin, Tiler Eaton, Donna Danis and Anthony Dumas, with Town Administrator Chris Sterndale. Also, present there were Matt Kouchoukos, Kortney Dorow and Bridget Hart. It was an eventful meeting focusing on police department personnel changes, Marston Property and its name, a new person for the Parks and Recreation Department and the sale of town properties including the major one on Route 4.

Before the beginning the formal agenda, Bartlett cited the good work done by police officer Ed Myers in helping a motorist. After manifests and minutes, the BOS heard from committees. Planning dealt with two cases and they plan to conduct site walk through visit of the Water Crossing event area. It was noted that the state is considering signal changes where NH Routes 152 and 4 intersect. The 300th is seeking advertisements for its program book. Next, Chris Sterndale gave his report. Special Event Licensing has approved Cruise Night at Liar’s Paradise. Police officer Kyle Kochano has completed his training at the Police Academy. It was mentioned that the Academy would not be residential anymore. Students would attend it only during the day. Officer Brian Defranzo will be starting at the Academy. The Police Department has hired a new part time officer, Noah Tougas. Pawtuckaway State Park is open with reservations for camping and hiking. It again is seeking Nottingham police coverage with the BOS initiating the approval process. And Larry Ellison at the Recycling Center is retiring.

Doing its Assessing Duties, the BOS approved a number of Timber and Excavation permits, a Veteran’s credit, one abatement and an Elderly exception. It moved to non-public session one other abatement case.

Then Marston Property took center stage with Matt Kouchoukos, the volunteer head of the Marston project and Kortney Dorow, Director of Parks & Recreation, addressing the BOS. They up-dated the group on its finances. Of the appropriated $300.000 funds, $9,000 was left. There was about $23,000 raised by selling sponsorships. The two lauded the amazing work being done to secure those sponsors and thanked those involved and the community. They noted a shift in direction for these remaining moneys. It will be from constructing backstops to obtaining an irrigation system, drilling a well and doing electrical work. They talked about the need to clean-up trash on and along the Marston trails. There are actually 2 types of debris on the site. One is trail trash and the other are sections of old cars and their parts. The latter items, which left by a recent owner, are more off the trail and would require a major effort to remove. They proposed 2 clean-up days May 29 and June 12. They cited the huge success of the one clean-up day for trails at the Community Center on Saturday, April 10, 2021. For those two dates they requested two 30-yard dumpster dumpsters and a porta-potty. The BOS approved these. It was also noted by the BOS the possible market for the scrap metal from the partial cars and automobile parts there. It was suggested that ultimately the management of Marston Property would be moved to town staff responsibility rather than the one done by a volunteer.

The discussion moved on to the topic of naming the fields. Some noted that there was a Deerfield field with the same name and the negative connotations of name due the junk left on the property by a recent owner. Others, including the Nottingham Historic Society, cited that Marston family played key roles in the town’s history. Names like Minutemen or Militia were presented, also. It was emphasized throughout the discussion that the BOS had the sole authority for naming it. In the end, the BOS approved the name of Marston Farm Recreational Area. The BOS also advanced the idea of individual fields and buildings there could be named for local people, events or organizations.

Next Kortney Dorow, Director of Parks & Recreation, and Bridget Hart, assistant director, spoke to the BOS. They outlined all the many activities that the department was doing. These included the summer camp, the after school program, the Legacy meals, Marston, the town beach and flag football. Furthermore, they hoped to expand their work in a paddle boat program, dodge ball and teen activities. They said based on all these and more activities and programs, they need a 3nd full time employee. They noted that there was enough money already in the Recreation Revolving Fund to cover the position. The BOS unanimously this request and praised the work done by Parks and Recreation.

Next, the sale of many of town properties commanded the BOS attention. Sterndale announced there was Purchase and Sale agreement had been reached for the 3 parcels and the cell tower lease on the north side of NH Route 4. The buyer was Tom Moulton, President & CEO at Sleepnet Corporation, Hampton, New Hampshire. Sleepnet is the designer and manufacturer of masks used for sleep disordered breathing and other ventilation needs. In addition, Moulton is the president of De Niro Construction, a building contractor which provides commercial and residential construction services to customers throughout northern New England.  His offer is $900,000 for it. Besides his wanting to the use the property for his company, he plans to be able to rent out different sections to other companies. He wished BOS approval to start to find tenants now before the actual due diligence and sale was completed. This was granted. The property on the south side of Route 4 was sold to Shea Concrete. The buyer here paid more than the tax debt, so the town will have to find and refund the over amount to original owner. Finally it was presented that the properties on Smoke Street and Freeman Hall Road have now been listed.

After a busy, eventful and productive night the BOS went into non-public session.