The muddy roads, eighteen inches of fresh snow, sap buckets, and homemade yard signs can only mean one thing: it's town meeting season in New Hampshire.
The warrant articles have been posted and we're working closely with local leaders on several preservation-related issues that will be put to voters. If you don't see your town's preservation initiative on this list, make sure to drop us a line. Contact Andrew Cushing at email@example.com with the details.
In Ashland, the Heritage Commission is hoping the voters will approve funds to match a 2016 LCHIP grant that would pay for a historic structures report on their 1871 brick town hall, listed to the National Register of Historic Places. Last year's attempt failed.
Rye voters will also be asked to choose a preservation option for their 1873 town hall, listed to Seven to Save in 2015. Rye voters have struggled for years to find a solution that both preserves the historic building and also allows for expansion of town offices. Preservation advocates are hoping that voters will reject an article to raise $3 million to demolish the old town hall and build a facsimile in its place.
Stratham's Heritage Commission is hoping voters will support a preservation easement for the former town hall, which was sold into private hands in 1997 and now has a new owner. The 1877 second empire building is threatened with demolition - a fate that befell the neighboring house - but the new owner is willing to work with the Heritage Commission on an easement for the former town hall.
Three towns are asking for a “yes” to establish heritage commissions: Mont Vernon, Kensington, and Sandown.
In Hinsdale, Friends of the Hope Engine House Co. No. 1 (Seven to Save 2017) petitioned the town to accept the 1850s fire station on town property so that restoration can commence.
In Chesterfield, voters will be asked to approve the sale of the former town office building to a local couple in exchange for the Gothic cottage's preservation.
In Belmont, Shaker Regional School District voters will be asked for a final time to sell the 1894 Gale School (Seven to Save 2017) to the Save Our Gale School committee. The sale will enable the group to plan for its relocation and redevelopment.
Also in Belmont, a town committee is asking voters for $65,000 to be expended from a capital reserve fund to perform a Space Needs and Feasibility Study on various town buildings, including the town hall, Belmont Mill, Corner Meetinghouse, and library.
Voters in Orford will be asked to endorse the conversion of the former Orford Academy into affordable senior housing. Rivendell Interstate School District would lease the long-vacant building to AHEAD, the same developers that converted Berlin's Notre Dame High School into affordable housing.
We are sure we missed some. Please contact Andrew Cushing at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.