New trust to manage easement for Island Pond Road propertyBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent
December 28. 2017 12:57AM
DERRY — The Town Council approved a motion to convey the conservation easement deed for a tract of land at 138 Island Pond Road to the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire.
Last week’s approval by the Town Council establishes the trust, better known by the acronym SELT, serving as steward of the 75-acre parcel of land. SELT actually purchased the land and initially conveyed title to the town.
Derry Town Administrator David Caron said Wednesday the transaction was contemplated earlier this year when the council approved the purchase of the land for conservation purposes.
“In addition to the benefit accruing to local residents by conserving local natural resources, it is much more efficient and economical for the town to partner with an agency such as SELT, which is structured and organized to effectively manage these easements on an ongoing basis on behalf of the town,” he said.
The council previously acquired the Island Pond Road property predominantly using tax and Conservation Commission revenues to preserve critical open space and subdivide approximately 3 acres at the site to pay for the acquisition.
The overall project cost was $465,697, which included the acquisition and ongoing SELT monitoring, with $250,000 approved by the council from an unassigned fund balance and the rest from the Conservation Commission. The town is expected to recover about $75,000 from the sale of the subdivided 3 acres and $15,697 as reimbursement from the Merrimack Conservation Partnership, a regional alliance to protect water quality and preserve aquatic ecosystems.
SELT touted the Derry conservation easement as one of the nine preservation projects this winter, which in total has protected nearly 2,300 acres across the state for public recreation, wildlife habitat, clean water and agricultural land.
“This acquisition grows an existing conservation complex to over 400 acres providing frontage along the Rockingham Recreational Trail, access to an existing trail network, and scenic views of Ballard Pond — all while helping to protect a downstream water supply reservoir,” according to SELT.