by Collis Adams
This year we will be asked to vote on securing a $2 million bond for the purposes of purchasing land for municipal uses, Article 11 on the ballot. The immediate need is the acquisition of land for the construction of recreational fields and related facilities. But the issue goes much beyond that.
Like so many towns that have grown over the many, many decades Goffstown has addressed municipal projects in a piece-meal, as needed, fashion often resulting in a fragmented and sometimes dysfunctional community. School sites and recreational areas that are too small, scattered emergency services, development in areas better suited for other purposes; to name a few.
Goffstown is land poor when it comes to meeting our long-term municipal needs. This bond article presents an opportunity to begin change by correcting some of those shortcomings and leading us towards a more cohesive, properly planned community.
Although this article only proposes the purchase of a single parcel, the Barnard property, it would also set aside monies to allow us to pursue other property for these same purposes. This is sound planning with an eye towards the future. To do this, we must have money in the bank in order to negotiate with landowners so that we can act while bond rates are low and it is a buyer’s market.
The Board of Selectmen have committed to establishing a citizen’s working group, representing many diverse interests, to develop a fiscally sound development plan that will best suit the many needs of the community at large. This approach would be unprecedented in Goffstown and we would all benefit, as would generations to come.
If successful, this bond article would result in a 19-cent increase per thousand dollars of evaluation in your tax bill, or about $57 a year for a $300,000 home, during the life of the bond only. This is a small price to pay for good community planning with positive long-term fiscal paybacks and is a sound investment in our, and our children’s, future.
I would urge all voters to support Article 11.