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Hearing for forest land purchase in Plaistow

PLAISTOW — The Conservation Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed purchase of a three-acre parcel of land to add to the Plaistow Town Forest.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 17 at the Town Hall.

The Conservation Commission has already voted to use $11,700 in conservation funds for the purchase of the land, which borders the Hampstead town line.

After the public hearing, it is expected that the proposed purchase will be added to the warrant for the March 2015 Town Meeting.

The three-acre parcel is connected to a larger parcel in Hampstead that has the same owner. Hampstead is also moving forward with the purchase of the land on its side of the town line.

Conservation Commission Chairman Jill Senter noted that the parcel is primarily farmland that has been in the same family for four generations. She said the town has looked to purchase the property in the past without success.

The Plaistow First Committee has recommended the town purchase the property, said Senter, adding that the owner of the property recently became more amenable to selling the parcel.

If the purchase becomes official, Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said it could help better connect trails in conservation land in Plaistow with neighboring land in Hampstead and Atkinson.

“Historically, it is a property that was used for farming,” said Fitzgerald. “There are beautiful rock walls that encompass the perimeter of the property.”

At a selectmen’s meeting last month, Selectman Michelle Curan noted that it is extremely rare for a town to purchase three acres of clean land for a price as low as the $11,700 the Conservation Commission is planning on spending.

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