|Dedicated to Securing A Truly Perfect Location for Goffstown's Future Kindergarten & Elementary Schools|
BACKGROUND and CHRONOLOGY OF
THE GLEN LAKE PROPERTY
(Map 5, Lot 14)
July 20, 1967
At a meeting of the Board of Directors of PSNH, the following resolution is passed. "Resolved that this Board hereby authorizes the officers, or any of them, on behalf of this company to negotiate with The State of New Hampshire for acquisition by The State of the existing dams at the following sites and the lands and rights associated with said dams and with the reservoirs controlled thereby, for development thereof by The State for recreational purposes for the benefit of the people of New Hampshire; Glen Lake, Goffstown .....(and others)."
July 24, 1967
PSNH sends letter to Governor John King and the Governor's Council which states, in part, "The officers of Public Service Company of New Hampshire have authorized the officers of the Company to negotiate with The State of New Hampshire for the acquisition by The State of seven dams and the lands and rights associated with said dams for the development thereof by The State for recreational and other purposes for the benefit of the people of New Hampshire."
Glen Lake beach area and approximately 60 acres on the North side of Elm Street then transferred to the State of New Hampshire Water Resources Board (WRB).
January 17, 1972
Robert Wheeler, Chairman of the Goffstown Board of Selectmen (BOS), telephones Mary Louise Hancock, Chairman of the NH Council of Resources and Development, to discuss the Town's interest in the Glen Lake property.
January 19, 1972
As part of the process to divest itself of many of their lands, the State, through the New Hampshire Council of Resources and Development, sends letter back to Mr. Wheeler which states, in part, "This will confirm our telephone conversation of January 17 establishing a meeting date of January 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the town offices for the purpose of discussing the town's interest in the Gregg Falls Dam holdings. This land and facility is presently under State ownership - New Hampshire Water Resources Board." ... "It is the Council's wish to determine what, if any, interest the town might have in utilizing this land for their recreation and conservation purposes. As agreed we are extending this invitation also to Mr. Lawrence Shirley, Chairman, Planning Board; Mr. George Aimo, Conservation Commission; Mr. Leon Burke, and Mr. Paul Bedard, Co-chairman of the Recreation Commission."
See EXHIBIT A
February 1, 1972
A memo from Francis C. Moore, Water Resources Engineer, to Vernon A. Knowlton, Chief Water Resources Engineer, contains the following: "As background, the meeting the evening before at Goffstown Town Hall between the State (George McGee, Francis Moore and William Hoffman) and the Town interests (Selectmen Miller and Wheeler, Planning Board, Recreation Commission, Conservation Commission and Industrial Commission) concerned the Town's interest in the surplus tracts and facilities at Greggs Falls. The Town would like the "swimming area", Lots A, B, C, G and the areas under Public Service Company of New Hampshire rights of way on the above noted tracts." ... "Lots A, B, G and the right of way would be used as a wilderness or undeveloped area for a park. The "swimming area" and Lot C would be used for recreational swimming, boat launching and at C, parking of vehicles, ret area, tables, etc."
See EXHIBIT B
February 29, 1972
Clinton Robinson, Secretary, Parks and Playground Commission sends letter to George McGee Sr., Chairman WRB requesting that the WRB "hold parcels A, B & C ... for a period of one year at a cost of $1.00 to allow further studies as to future recreational use."
See EXHIBIT C
April 18, 1972
A letter from George M. McGee, Sr., Chairman, WRB to Governor Walter Peterson and the Governor's Council states, in part, "It is respectfully requested that the Water Resources Board be authorized to sell or short term lease the following described tracts ... Parcels "A", "B", "C", and "G" (North of Elm Street and between dike and Elm Street): Goffstown Parks and Playground Commission requests that the Board give it a twelve month lease for Parcels "A", "B", "C" and "G", appraised for $32,000 for the sum of One Dollar. This short term lease is to give the Commission time to study the 32 acre area for recreational use."
See EXHIBIT D
1973 TOWN REPORT
An explanation in the 1973 Town Report of Warrant Article 21 states, in part, "Land use plans include picnic areas nature trails...a camping area for local youth groups...paths for trail bikes and snowmobiles...cross country-skiing, snow-shoeing and sledding". The report also explains the urgency in purchasing the Glen Lake site to prevent its acquisition by developers.
See EXHIBIT AF
January 21, 1974
Diana Sterling, Chairman of the Goffstown Conservation Commission (CC), sends copy of a petition article to be inserted in the 1974 Town Warrant. Her letter states "The article has been signed by 4 members of the Conservation Commission; 2 members of the Planning Board; 1 Selectman; 1 member of the Budget Committee; 2 members of he Parks & Recreation Commission and 4 interested citizens." Attached to her letter is a copy of the petition article which states, in part, "To see if the Town will vote to appropriate Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) for the purchase of approximately fifty-eight (58) acres of land on the north side of Glen Lake presently owned by the State of New Hampshire (Map 5, Lots 14 and 15) for use as a recreational area by Town residents."
See EXHIBIT E
January 29, 1974
A letter from George M. McGee, WRB, to Diana Sterling recognizes her letter of January 21, 1974 and states, in part, "This office will consider your letter as an offer of $30,000.00 for this tract, and at the next meeting of our Board of Directors it will be discussed. If found acceptable, it will be recommended to the Governor and Council who must approve of all disposal of State lands."
See EXHIBIT F
March 21, 1974
A letter from Diana Sterling to George McGee states, in part, "The Special Article on the town warrant requesting funds for the purchase of the land on the north side of Glen Lake was defeated by standing vote at Town Meeting on March 9th."
See EXHIBIT G
September 22, 1975
The Town of Goffstown submits an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a Community Development Block Grant for the purchase of the property from the State of New Hampshire. The application states, in part, "Acquisition…will increase recreation opportunities…". The application further mentions "The residents of Goffstown need publicly-owned recreational facilities (now not available) on Glen Lake…". Also stated in the application, in part, "An additional 60+ acres of public land will be made available for recreational purposes. Under Phase 1, the proposed Glen Lake park will be acquired to provide, in season, picnic area, nature trails, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and sledding."
See EXHIBIT H
April 7, 1976
Elmer Nickerson (BOS) sends letter to the WRB that states, in part, "This letter is to request the purchase of land on Elm Street Goffstown, N.H. known as Part A-11.9 acres, Part G-36 acres and Part B-5.1 acres from the Water Resources Board for a sum of $19,000 or less. The Town of Goffstown wishes to use this land as a park in the near future."
See EXHIBIT I
June 16, 1976
After securing monies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Community Development Block Grant Program, Elmer Nickerson (BOS) sends letter to the WRB that states, in part, "At out recent meeting, the Board of Selectmen agreed to make the following proposal: that the Town would purchase Parcel A (11.9 acres), parcel A (10 acres), parcel G, 36 acres including 18+ acres R/W, and parcel B (5 acres), at the original $19,000.00 and would like to purchase parcel C (54.4 acres), along with the beach area. As you know, our money is coming from the Federal Government. ... The Town, as far as we know, never intends to sell any of this land, but is desirous to keep it for future use as a community park and playground."
See EXHIBIT J
July 8, 1976
Elmer Nickerson (BOS) sends letter to the WRB that states, in its entirety, "At the Tuesday, July 6th meeting of the Goffstown Board of Selectmen, it was reluctantly agreed to pay to the New Hampshire Water Resources Board the total sum of $31,000 for a certain tract of land northerly of the road at Glen Lake known as parcels A1, A2, B, G, together with that tract of land upstream of the dam known as the beach area; also C, a tract of five acres plus the right-of-way of Public Service. Our only reason for this is that we feel that the people who have been using Glen Lake to swim and enjoy the picnic area, should be allowed to do so. If you will get a letter of authorization from the State of New Hampshire to sell this land and a copy of deed to us, we will submit them to the proper authority to obtain the money."
See EXHIBIT K
July 16, 1976
George McGee sends memo to Governor Meldrim Thomson and the Executive Council requesting that they "Authorize the New Hampshire Water Resources Board to sell to the Town of Goffstown 3 (three) tracts of land in Goffstown on Glen Lake totaling 70 acres for the sum of $31,000." The explanation states, in part, "The Town of Goffstown through its Board of Selectmen has requested that the New Hampshire Water Resources Board sell the Town 70 acres of land on Glen Lake in Goffstown. This land consists of 2 tracts of woodland and a beach area on Glen Lake. The town proposes to use the area for conservation purposes and as a community park and playground. This acquisition has been approved at Town Meeting."
See EXHIBIT L
August 5, 1976
Bernard Streeter of the Governor & Council's office sends memo to McGee with comments and questions regarding the proposed land sale to the Town of Goffstown.
August 9, 1976
George McGee responds by sending letter to Bernard Streeter of the Governor & Council's office, addressing comments and questions in Streeter's August 5th memo and a subsequent telephone conversation between McGee and Streeter. That letter states, in part, "It is our understanding that funds for the acquisition of this land will be largely Federal funds and the reason for purchase is for conservation and not development uses." McGee's letter also addresses Streeter's concerns over the need for a reverting clause in the deed "…to prevent the town from selling this land to another party." In response, McGee wrote, "Such land transfers normally indicate that if the land is not used for recreational purposes or other public use, it would revert to the state." His letter went on to state, "It is our further understanding that should the Town at some future date propose to sell these lands, the Federal funds would have to be reimbursed to the Federal government. This should guarantee that these lands would be used for public purposes."
McGee closed his letter by stating, "I hope these comments will more clearly state the justification for transferring these lands to the Town of Goffstown…" The Governor and Council approve the sale.
See EXHIBIT M
October 1, 1976
Dana Andersen of the Parks and Recreation Department sends letter to BOS requesting access to all documentation related to HUD funding for the Glen Lake land purchase, as reference materials for attempting to secure additional HUD funding for the purchase and development of C.W.V. Field in Pinardville. His letter states, in part, "The department's interest in H.U.D. is the monies available for the purchase and possibly development of recreational areas, such as we received in the Glen Lake purchase."
See EXHIBIT AG
March 12, 1977
At the 1977 Town Meeting, Article10 was presented to the voters as follows: "To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Selectmen to negotiate and purchase land located on Elm Street and identified as Map 5, Lots 14 & 15 for a price not to exceed $35,000.00; said purchase to be funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Community Development Block Grant Program and, further, to authorize the Selectmen to make application for and accept any and all grants which may now or hereafter be forthcoming for this purpose. (Recommended by the Budget Committee)."
See EXHIBIT N
The minutes from that Town meeting reflect the following result: "ARTICLE 10. The article was read by Moderator, moved and seconded. (Selectmen) Mr. Elmer Nickerson explained availability of State Funds for such land to be permanently green areas for No motor vehicles recreation area. Area has 58 Acres including 18 Acres under power lines, Right of Way. Diana Sterling pointed out failure to take offer would mean possibility of housing development starting soon. Previous question was moved, seconded and approved by voice vote. Moderator read article and called for voice vote. AYE - loud, NO - few! Article declared approved. (land purchase on Elm St)" .
See EXHIBIT O
September 19, 1977
In a letter to Henry Grady, Chairman BOS, George McGee of the WRB states, in part, "The Water Resources Board will accept thirty-one thousand ($31,000) for the land."
September 20, 1977
The land is transferred to the Town of Goffstown with a deed restriction stating that the land "... shall be used for public purposes only and will revert to the State of New Hampshire iif used for any other purposes."
See EXHIBIT P
September 26, 1977
The deed is recorded in the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds.
1977 TOWN REPORT
Page 29 of the 1977 Town Report contains a report from the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC). The Commission's report includes a list of areas of technical assistance it provided to Goffstown, stating, in part, that the Commission "Administered the Community Development Block Grant Program for 1) the acquisition of the Glen Lake recreation area...Assisted Conservation Commission in search of funding sources".
See EXHIBIT AH
November 25, 1996
An internal Goffstown memo references Mr. Jim Tithers of the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC). The memo references the SNHPC's involvement in administering the HUD funds used to purchase the Glen Lake site, stating, in part, that Tithers "...did a proposal with intent to use for outdoor recreation - in particular low level activities - hiking, tent camping, conservation, conservative practices." The memo goes on to state, in part, "Per Jim, "intent" considered same as restrictions because it is the reason we got the grant."
See EXHIBIT AI
November 26, 1996
Mr. Jim Tithers of the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission (SNHPC) forwards a copy of the original HUD grant application to Donna Bergeron of the Selectman's Office, again referencing the site as the "proposed Glen Lake Park."
See EXHIBIT AJ
1997 TOWN MASTER PLAN
The 1997 Goffstown Town Master Plan is published, and specifically states that the western portion of Map 5, Lot 14 currently proposed for the Kindergarten site should be developed for recreational facilities, not as a future potential school site. Rather, it is the eastern portion that the Master Plan suggests be examined as a potential elementary school site.
See EXHIBIT Q
See Master Plan, page 8-15, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/planning/masterplan/masterplan.shtml
December 16, 1997
Licensed forester Ronald Klemarczyk sends letter to the Goffstown Conservation Commission which reports his findings on having examined the Glen Lake site for potential timber cutting and sale by the Town.
See EXHIBIT AK
December 30, 1997
Town Administrator John Scruton sends memo on behalf of the BOS to the Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department requesting recommendations on Mr. Klemarczyk's letter (see Exhibit AK) regarding potential timber cut on the Glen Lake site.
See Exhibit AL
January 14, 1998
The Conservation Commission sends memo to Town Administrator John Scruton requesting that the BOS delay any timber cutting at the Glen Lake property "...until the Town has had time to study the future recreational use of this site."
See EXHIBIT AM
September 8, 1999
The Conservation Commission issues a News Release which states, in part, that they are "...establishing a working group to prepare a plan for the development of a recreation area for the town owned land on Elm Street at Glen Lake." The New Release goes on to state, in part, "The development of this area as a town park has been identified as a priority item in the Goffstown Master Plan."
See EXHIBIT AN
A group of Goffstown citizens, led by the Conservation Commission, secures $60,000 in NH DES funds to restore the shoreline area of Glen Lake and create passive recreational amenities on both sides of Elm Street at no cost to the Goffstown taxpayers. When the group asks the Board of Selectmen to limit access to the area to Goffstown residents only, the BOS responds by stating the request cannot be accommodated because acquisition of the property required that it remain available for use by all New Hampshire citizens.
September 24, 2004
With the proposed Tirrell Hill location for a kindergarten mired in litigation, School Superintendent Darrell Lockwood requests a list of all Town-owned properties of 10 acres or larger in size from the Board of Selecmen which could be considered for construction of a school.
September 30, 2004
BOS responds to Lockwood's request, providing a list of seven properties of 10 or more acres in size. The letter notes that the Glen Lake site (Map 5, Lot 14) is "crossed by several power distribution lines" and has "steep slopes". The letter also declares that "It appears to us that these properties are not credible school locations, due either to their locations, their inaccessibility or their current uses."
See EXHIBIT R
School Superintendent Darrell Lockwood request an interpretation of the wording of the deed to Map 5, Lot 14 and the phrase "public purposes" from attorney William C. Tucker of Wadleigh, Starr & Peters, P.L.L.C., of Manchester, NH, as to the permissibility of constructing a school on the property. Beyond the deed, Lockwood provides Tucker with no additional background information or documentation related to the intended use stipulations and the restrictions set forth by the WRB, G&C, HUD and the voters of Goffstown when the property was purchased in 1977.
November 23, 2004
The Town of Goffstown official Steve Griffin contacts the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Manchester, NH field office to inquire as to whether or not HUD would object to the Town's use of a portion of the land to construct a school. Griffin informs HUD that the only remaining documents related to the original purchase are 1) the deed (see Exhibit P), and 2) the Town's 1975 application to HUD for the aforementioned grant (see Exhibit H).
December 13, 2004
The Town of Goffstown receives a letter from HUD stating, in part, that in addition to the two documents (the deed (see Exhibit P) and CDBG application (see Exhibit H)) Mr. Griffin claimed were the only remaining records of the transaction, "The Manchester Field office does not have any records in addition to those listed above (mentioned by Griffin). Based on the existing documentation, this office would not object if the Town decides to build a public school on the subject parcel of land."
See EXHIBIT T
That same day, Attorney Tucker, having no reference or historical documentation beyond the deed
(see Exhibit P) itself, sends letter to Lockwood stating his opinion that
"…construction of a school on the subject property would be considered as used for a public
See EXHIBIT S
February 4, 2005
Armed with Attorney Tucker's opinion (see Exhibit S), Lockwood sends letter to the NH DES (formerly the Water Resource Board) asking if the NH DES has issues with the Town of Goffstown conveying Map 5, Lot 14 to the School District. In addition, Lockwood provides the NH DES with a copy of attorney Tucker's opinion, but again omits additional background information and documentation related to the intended use stipulations and the restrictions set forth by the WRB, G&C, HUD and the voters of Goffstown when the property was purchased in 1977.
See EXHIBIT U
February 7, 2005
The NH DES issues a letter to Lockwood, referencing Mr. Tucker's opinion (see Exhibit S) and thereafter stating no objection to the transfer of the property to the School District.
See EXHIBIT V
On numerous occasions, Lockwood publicly references attorney Tucker's opinion, and the letters from the NH DES and HUD stating no objection to construction of a school at Map 5, Lot 14. At no time prior to the scheduled Town Vote on March 8, 2005, are the voters informed of, or provided with, additional background information and documentation related to the original intended use stipulations and the restrictions set forth by the WRB, G&C, HUD and the voters of Goffstown when the property was purchased in 1977.
March 8, 2005
Town Warrant Article 24 appears on the Town of Goffstown's official ballot as follows: "Shall the Town authorize the Board of Selectmen to transfer ownership of approximately 20 acres of Map 5, Lot 14 to the Goffstown School District for the purpose of building a school on such terms and conditions as the Selectmen deem appropriate and to authorize the Selectmen to execute any and all documents to implement this conveyance?" Article is approved.
School Warrant Article 5 appears on the Town of Goffstown's official ballot as follows: "Shall the School Board be authorized to accept on behalf of the district, and for its benefit, without further action by the voters, gifts, legacies and devises of real or personal property, which may become available to the district during the fiscal year (Majority vote required)." Article is approved.
May 17, 2005
Picataquog Watershed Association sends a letter to Jennifer J. Patterson of the Department of Justice, State Attorney General's Office, which states, in part, "…the PWA respectfully asks that the Attorney General's Office prepare a corrective deed that clearly states the intent of the original purchase."
See EXHIBIT W
June 21, 2005
New Hampshire State Senate Bill SB 90-FN-A-LOCAL extends kindergarten construction aid deadline from June 30, 2005 to June 30, 2006.
June 22, 2005
The Goffstown Residents Association attends Goffstown Conservation Commission meeting, voicing their concerns over improper use of subject property.
See minutes, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/conservation_minutes/2005/06-22-05.CCpdf.pdf
July 6, 2005
Town of Goffstown (not the School District) files Standard Dredge & Fill Application with NH DES.
July 13, 2005
The Goffstown Conservation Commission releases report to the Planning Board on the proposed construction site, which stated, in part, "During the deliberative session, attempts to discuss factual details were suppressed. Voters did not receive the proper technical information about the site, and instead were given inaccurate information." The report also stated, "The site does not follow the intended use for recreation and conservation that was clearly indicated in the Goffstown Master Plan Chapter 8 (Objective P2.2, Action Plan # 3), when the HUD funds were used to purchase the land, or when the voters previously authorized the purchase of the land. These facts were not disclosed to the voters in the presentations of Article 24 of the 2005 Town Ballot"
See EXHIBIT X
See relevant excerpts, http://goffresassoc.home.comcast.net/gra_conservation_commission_excerpts.htm
July 14, 2005
The GRA attends Goffstown Planning Board meeting, voicing their concerns over improper use of subject property. Planning Board recommends to the BOS that the lot be sub-divided, citing "intended use of the property" had no bearing on determining whether or not to recommend a subdivision.
See minutes, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/PB_minutes/2005/07-14-05 Planning.pdf
July 17, 2005
The Goffstown Residents Association launches its web site at http://GoffResAssoc.home.comcast.net
August 11, 2005
The GRA attends Goffstown Planning Board meeting, voicing their concerns over improper use of subject property. School District presents its site plan to the Planning Board. Planning Board refuses to recommend the plan, and schedules a special, kindergarten plan-only meeting for September 15, 2005.
See minutes, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/PB_minutes/2005/08-11-05 Planning.pdf
August 24, 2005
GRA attends Goffstown Conservation Commission meeting, voicing their concerns over improper use of subject property. School Superintendent Darrell Lockwood objects to Conservation Commission's report of July 13.
See minutes, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/conservation_minutes/2005/08-24-05 CC.pdf
August 29, 2005
Goffstown Conservation Commission sends letter to the NH DES, expressing "serious concerns" about the proposed use of the site.
See EXHIBIT Y
September 5, 2005
School District submits site plan to Town of Goffstown.
September 7, 2005
Town of Goffstown transfers the 20 acres of Map 5, Lot 14 (now known as Map 5, Lot 14-1) approved by the March '05 Town Vote to the Goffstown School District. The BOS also transfers an additional 6 acres to the school district without voter approval.
See EXHIBIT Z
September 15, 2005
School district receives letter from NH DES regarding the application for a dredge & fill permit, requesting additional information and clarifications.
See EXHIBIT AA
The GRA attends special, kindergarten plan-only Goffstown Planning Board meeting to voice their concerns over improper use of subject property. Planning Board reschedules meeting to 22-Sep-05 due to lack of quorum.
September 22, 2005
The GRA attends Goffstown Planning Board meeting, voicing their concerns over improper use of subject property. Planning Board objects to proposed use of site, with board member William Quinn stating, in part, "…this went before the voters and the voters said 'Yeah, let's do it'. But you know something? The voters didn't have in that voting booth what we have in front of us today." The board also cited the unenforceability of any recommendation they would ultimately make.
See EXHIBIT AB
See minutes, http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/PB_minutes/2005/09-22-05 Planning.pdf
(DVD and/or VHS tape of transcript available upon request)
September 27, 2005
GRA member Guy Caron contacts Darrell Lockwood via telephone to discuss alternatives to litigation and potential for school district to request permission to examine Map 5, Lot 24 as an alternate location. No agreement is forthcoming.
October 14, 2005
Standard Dredge & Fill Application issued to Town of Goffstown (not to the School District) by NH DES.
See EXHIBIT AC
October 21, 2005
GRA member Collis Adams meets with Darrell Lockwood to discuss alternatives to litigation and potential for school district to request permission to examine Map 5, Lot 24 as an alternate location. No agreement is forthcoming.
November 1, 2005
The Goffstown Residents Association appeals the School District's wetlands permit. School District is notified of appeal.
November 4, 2005
School District holds groundbreaking ceremony. Announces plans to begin construction on 14-Nov-05.
November 7, 2005
44 GRA members sign authorizations for legal representation by Baldwin & Callen, P.L.L.C., Concord, NH.
November 14, 2005
Despite appeals against their permits still pending, School District begins construction at the site. GRA files a request for a Temporary Restraining Order with the Hillsborough County Superior Court.
See EXHIBIT AD
November 15, 2005
The Goffstown Residents Association appeals the School District's site-specific permit. School District is notified of appeal.
School District files a response to the GRA's requested Temporary Restraining Order.
See EXHIBIT AE
November 16, 2005
A hearing is held before the Honorable Philip P. Mangones to consider the GRA request for a Temporary Restraining Order. The hearing is continued until the following morning.
November 17, 2005
Judge Mangones hears arguments from attorneys for the GRA and the School District. Takes matter under advisement.
November 29, 2005
NH DES issues denial of 1st appeal of the school district's wetland's permit by the Goffstown Residents Association.
See EXHIBIT AO
Also that same day, Judge Mangones denies GRA request for
temporary injunctive relief.
See EXHIBIT AP (Requires Adobe Acrobat)
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