HAMPSTEAD – The Board of Selectmen has approved a 10-year Discretionary Preservation Easement request from Timothy Ryan for the barn built in the 1800s on his property at 57 Main St. The board held a public hearing Monday night on his application but no one from the public attended.
The board did not make a determination on the percentage of tax relief to be granted for the barn, which Ryan and his wife, Sharon, are trying to preserve. The board will seek a recommendation regarding tax relief from the Town’s Assessor, Scott Marsh.
The barn tax incentive is based on the state’s open space discretionary easement program and allows towns to grant property tax relief to barn owners who can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other old farm buildings, while agreeing to maintain their structures through a 10-year renewable easement. In return for the preservation effort, the local governing body provides tax relief of 25 percent to 75 percent of the full assessed value of the building and the land underneath it. The assessment will not increase if the owner does maintenance or repair work while the easement is in effect.
The barn must be judged to meet the criteria of an historic agricultural structure. The main purpose for the easements, according to the New Hampshire Local Government Center, “is to prevent the loss of historic agricultural structures due to property taxation at values incompatible with their preservation.”
In 2005, the Town approved Roy and Carolyn Bergkuist’s application for a Discretionary Preservation Easement for their barn, located at the corner of East Road and Route 111. The Greek revival style barn, built about 1853, has been in almost constant use since it was built.
In 2006, the town approved Emery Pitman’s application for a Discretionary Preservation Easement for his barn, which along with the house on the property at 182 Central St., is thought to be more than 200 years.
In other business Monday night:
• Road Agent Jon Worthen answered Board Chairman Sean Murphy’s request from the previous meeting for a comparison of a six- and seven-year lease agreement and associated costs for a backhoe Worthen wishes to lease to buy. The sale price of the backhoe is $130,000, less $28,000 for the trade of the current machine plus filing fees, leaving a lease agreement amount of $102,096.
Worthen explained that if the town chose a six-year lease, the annual rate would be 2.75 percent; a seven-year lease would be 3 percent. The yearly payment under the six-year lease would be $18,205.37, and it would be $15,928.15 for seven years.
Murphy pointed out that by going with the seven-year lease, the town would be paying out $2,277.22 less in cash flow per year, and said this was better for the town. Selectmen Rick Hartung and Priscilla Lindquist didn’t have a strong feeling either way, and the board approved going with a seven-year lease.
Worthen said he had $20,000 in his budget to cover the payment.
• Residents on Emmert, North Salem and Collette roads will have their trash pick-up switched from Mondays to Tuesdays effective June 1.
• The spring Hazardous Waste Event will be held in Plaistow at 51 Old County Road on Saturday, May 10, from 9 to noon. Residents from Hampstead, Plaistow, Chester, Kingston and Atkinson can bring material for disposal, but proof of residence will be required.
• Hartung said residents should know that if they have a fire at their residence, they have 60 days to file for an abatement of the tax burden for the year.
• The May 26 Selectmen’s meeting has been switched to Wednesday, May 28, due to Memorial Day.
• A lot at 15 Hilltop Lane that was given to the town has been sold to the adjacent lot owner, with the agreement that the two lots will be merged and can never be subdivided.
• Jeffrey Dowd was appointed as an alternate for the Recreation Commission.