February 8, 2008
Numerous grants for Goffstown this year
The town this spring will began the transformation of an
old rail line into a vibrant recreational corridor,
connecting downtown Goffstown to the Pinardville area.
Earlier this week, the Board of Selectmen was scheduled
to hold a public hearing on the acceptance of a $29,385
grant from the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails. The town
also has received $2,400 from the Rails-to-Trails
Conservancy in Washington, D.C. The second grant
provides the town with the match it needs for federal
and state funds.
The larger of the two grants will allow the town to
break ground on the first of roughly five miles of the
trail. The work will include building a trail head,
grading and the laying down of a new nitpack gravel
surface, according to Lowell Von Ruden, president of the
Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail.
The second grant, combined with $1,000 Public Service of
New Hampshire donated last year, will pay for an
engineer to examine how to cross a gap in the trail
where there used to be a bridge.
“It is a lifesaver,” said Jim Bingham, the assistant
town moderator and town liaison to Friends of the
Goffstown Rail Trail. “In order to make this rail-trail
construction a reality, it’s contributions like this
that help volunteers continue reaching their goal of
opening up this trail to the public.”
The trail starts near the Main Street bridge in
Goffstown Village, parallels Mast Road and the
Piscataquog River, and stops near Sarette Field in
Pinardville, close to the Manchester city line. The
first mile extends to the north side of Mast Road across
from Villa Augustina School.
Bingham said the rail-trail is unique because it will
link some of the major recreational centers in town with
The trail passes close to Goffstown High School, Barnard
Park, the Parks and Recreation facility, the county
complex, Villa Augustina School, and the Little League
fields on Mast Road. It would end near Sarette Field,
close to Bartlett Elementary School.
Bingham said the path of the rail-trail makes it easy
for residents, especially children, to walk to
recreational areas and schools, building a sense of
The trail could also become a destination for walkers,
joggers, and bicyclists, excepting motorized vehicles,
according to the Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail.
The benefits don’t stop there, Bingham said. Encouraging
people to walk to places not only has health and
recreational value, it also gets cars off Mast Road,
The increased foot traffic, he said, will bring more
business to restaurants and stores in Goffstown Village.
The rail-trail could also boost the local economy by
attracting businesses that cater to rail-trail
enthusiasts, such as bicycle shops or ice cream stands.
On the agenda for the Monday, Feb. 4, selectmen meeting
were grants for several other town projects.
Two of the grants are related to the preservation of
Goffstown’s history and heritage. A private donation of
stocks worth $6,335 from Elizabeth Merrill, a Goffstown
resident, will bolster the Grasmere Town Hall
Restoration Fund. Also, the state is giving the town a
$2,797 Certified Local Government grant for historic
An $8,460 grant from the Federal Emergency Management
Agency will fund an update to the town emergency
Selectman Nick Campasano said the town will use the
money to shift to a new format, which will specify what
functions various town departments and relief agencies
can perform during any kind of emergency.
That will allow the emergency director to tailor the
response and support to the specific situation, unlike
the old one, which planned for a set of stock
emergencies, according to Campasano.
Also, a $5,500 Homeland Security grant will pay for
interoperable radio equipment, which will improve
communication with the other departments in the 20-town
Souhegan Mutual Aid Association.
The equipment gives departments the ability to talk to
each other directly even though they are on different
radio bands. Goffstown Fire Chief Richard O’Brien said
that ability is crucial when several departments are
responding to a large fire or other major emergency.
Reproduced by the Goffstown