by Alex Malm
CHESTER – The Chester Board of Selectmen held its weekly meeting on Thursday, April 15.
During the meeting Victor Chounard, chair of the Chester Conservation Commission made the pitch to the board to allow them to spend conservation funds to purchase 20 acres of land.
He explained that the Commission negotiated a deal to buy the land owned by Michael and Wendy Ennis pending the Selectmen releasing the funds to allow them to purchase it.
The purchase amount was $49,900.
He explained that the property is next to other conservation land that the town owns which made them interested in talking to the owners about purchasing the land.
He said that the total town owned land next to it is 120 acres and with the acquisition of the 20 acres they would then have 140 total acres of land in that area.
“It will ensure the residents of Chester that the land will be kept as open space and won¹t be developed,” Chounard said.
Chounard said that him and three other conservation commission members
visited the site and said that they liked it.
“We were impressed it¹s a really nice rectangular lot,” he said.
One thing that they liked most about the property is that they will be able to expand their trails system with the new land. Chounard said that in fact the property already has a trail.
He explained that they also had a public hearing on it on April 13 and no one had any public comments about it before the Commission voted unanimously to come to purchase the property.
The Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the funds be released so the Commission could purchase the property.
Another piece of business that the Selectmen had during the meeting revolved around allowing the use of town fields again.
During the previous meeting it was brought up by Chester Recreation Director Corinna Reishus that there have been requests made for the fields and other outdoor facilities including for an upcoming wedding over the covered bridge at Wason Pond.
Her recommendation is that they would allow Chester Schools and Chester Baseball to begin using the field right away and allow any outside groups to start using the fields starting on May 1.
The Selectmen after discussing it at the last meeting decided to wait a week to see if Governor Chris Sununu would decide to let the Executive Order in regards to mandatory mask wearing expire or continue it.
At their meeting on April 15 it was hours before the order was set to expire and the Governor made it known that he was going to let it expire.
Selectmen Chuck Myette said that he thought it would be a good idea to start allowing the fields in town to be used.
“I think it makes sense to open up the outdoors recreation areas,” he said.
Myette pointed out that he thought it was important however, that they require people to either follow the CDC guidelines or the rules put in place by the athletic leagues whichever is more strict.
It was ultimately decided that they would allow the fields to start being used as long as the CDC guidelines were followed, and they kept the amount of people to 100 people or less.
The Selectmen also voted to require that masks continued to be required inside the Municipal Building.
The next Chester Board of Selectmen meeting is slated for April 22 at 7 p.m.