After several years, the closing on a 63.5-acre tract of conservation land at 7.5 Willow Street has been completed.
The closing was completed on July 20, Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Dionne said during the July 24 meeting.
The parcel represents one of the few remaining large tracts of land still available in West Derry, according to officials. West Derry was the first part of the town that was developed and settled primarily as a residential area.
In a meeting earlier this year, the Town Council voted five to two to reaffirm the $740,000 total acquisition cost of the project. They also agreed to approve spending $252,500 from the unassigned fund balance in a supplemental appropriation to complete funding the project.
As for funding the project, Public Works Director Michael Fowler said at a prior meeting that the state will pay for $337,500, or approximately half of the cost, through a New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services protection grant. The grant reimburses 50 percent of the appraised value along with associated costs such as survey, title, legal, and closing costs.
The NHDES grant requires the town to complete a number of tasks in order to comply with the requirements of the grant program, according to officials.
The deal has been in the works for a long time, Councilor Neil Wetherbee said. “It’s $252,000 of town outlay for 60 plus acres in an area of town that we’ve been trying to get conservation land in for a long time. I hope you’ll support it.”
Councilors then voted to reaffirm the $740,000 total acquisition cost and to approve spending $252,500 from the unassigned fund balance in a supplemental appropriation to complete funding the project.
In other items during the Conservation Commission meeting, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services was scheduled to conduct a compliance inspection of a parking lot at the Center for Life Management (CLM) at 10 Tsienneto. CLM had built the parking lot over a wetland area after a permit was issued in 2012, Dionne said. Representatives from DES were scheduled to come out to inspect the area sometime late last month to ensure everything was done properly.