Open Space Committee
Pelham, New Hampshire

 

Please Support Warrant Article 21

Presented by The PeIham Conservation Commission

 

Purpose: The purpose of the fund is to give to the town the ability to acquire strategic parcels of land so as to protect our groundwater, provide passive recreational areas and to protect the overall rural character of Pelham as stated in our master plan. Keeping some land open and not developed has been found to be one of the best ways to keep a communities taxes low.

 

Open Space Saves you Money!!

Studies have shown that towns with more houses, & more commercial development have higher taxes than those with more open space. By keeping some land open the tax rate can be kept down. It currently costs an average of $5458. 50 per year to educate a child in Pelham. If ten homes are built on ten acres with 2 children per household, the cost to Pelham residents is $109,170.00 per year. Over a ten year period this is $1,091,700.00. If you add services such as road maintenance, fire, and police support this all adds up to increased taxes. The taxes on those homes do not make up for these kind of expenditures. If, on the other hand, that ten acres was purchased for $100,00.00, this one time expenditure is made at great future savings.

 

Why is it is so important to pass this warrant article this year? How many towns have this fund?

Both the state of New Hampshire and the federal goverment are sponsoring bills to provide funds to towns to preserve open space. The federal government has proposed $600 million dollars to the states and local governments for open space. The legislature in New Hampshire is also proposing a 12 million dollar fund this year. What is required by the towns is to have matching funds for projects. New Hampshire is proposing that 20% of the matching funds be in cash. The towns that have identified areas that they want preserved and have money in their conservation funds will be the towns that get these matching funds. There are currently 77 towns in New Hampshire that take money from the land use change tax and place this money in their conservation fund. Towns with the same developmental pressures as Pelham have voted to allocate 100% of their Land Use Change tax to their consenation funds - Derry 100%, Londonderry 100%, Nashua 100%, Salem 50%, and last year Windham voted 100%. In the last two years alone over 140 homes have been built in Pelham. In last nine years over 450 homes have been built. We need to have some funds available to purchase land.

We are asking for 75% of the current use change tax (with an annual amount not to exceed $50,000.00) of the money be put in the conservation fund. This is the money paid as a penalty by landowners that develop a piece of land enrolled in currant use.

 

Town at a Crossroads

The town is at a crossroads where it can go the way of a bedroom communitv with ever increasing tax rates or stay a somewhat rural yet thriving community. Open space land presenation is an important part in any town’s master plan. With the pressures of land development becoming more evident everyday, it is important the voters of Pelham preserve Pelham’s rural character for now and for future generations. Please support Warrant Article 21.

The Pelham Conservation Commission

The Selectmen have voted to support this warrant article.

We ask for your support of Warrant Article 21. Thank you.

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