The following fact sheet was provided by New Land Committee secretary Lindsay Wheaton and will be updated as things continue to unfold.
New Town Land Fact Sheet:
- Grand Lake Stream was landlocked by Prentiss and Carlisle’s ownership of the Township. In 2009, it became clear Prentiss and Carlisle was going to sell its GLS holdings. If the Town was to grow and expand in the future, this was seen as an opportunity to acquire some land.
- Lyme Timber signed a purchase and sale agreement with Prentice and Carlisle. Lyme Timber balanced much of the deal using New Market Tax Credits (NMTC). The NMTC is a federal program, administered in our area by Coastal Enterprises, Inc., that provides low cost financing for the purchaser in exchange for providing substantial benefit to the local community. This NMTC funding provided seven year for a buyer to raise the funds for the 21,000 acres. (For further information on NMTC please follow the link to an article on funding provided to the Woodland Mill for the tissue machines and administered by CCML, a subsidiary of CEI.)
- Grand Lake Stream received four parcels of land including land to expand the transfer station and cemetery. The Town was also given a 50 acre parcel off Milford Road for light industrial uses and a 65 acre parcel off Water Street for housing as defined by the Town of Grand Lake Stream. The receipt of these lands was approved by vote at Town Meeting.
- At the same time, the Town was given the opportunity to purchase a 50 acre parcel by the fire tower for mixed residential and commercial purposes. The Town voted to purchase this for $115,000 which was well below market value. One acre has been used for the internet tower.
- Also, the Town was to receive $650,000 when Lyme Timber repaid the loan. In 2016, the Town received the $650,000. There is a 4 year contract regarding these funds and the town must report on its use of the money each year. The funds are to be spent to improve Town facilities and affordable housing opportunities. Currently, the Town has expended funds for a planner and legal costs.
- There is a committee of residents and non-residents working with a planner to determine how to structure this process and decide how to best use these lands to benefit the Town. Each year the Town votes to give this committee the right to keep working on this.
- The Town requirements for housing or commercial endeavors are for the residents of GLS to decide. Residents will decide how many housing lots can be provided, size of lots, size and look of the house to be built, and the process by which lots will be sold. The Town will not develop or build the lots. Individuals will be responsible for building their own homes according to the requirements put forth by the Town.
- All plans are to be voted on by Town residents.
- Incidentally, LUPC was going through a process of reviewing zoning for our area and the Town voted to change the zoning of all the discussed properties to general use.