Vote on Southfield Village development rights could come Nov. 23

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/17/2021 10:58:01 AM

The Peterborough Select Board wrapped its second public hearing on the condominium development rights at Southfield Village with the goal of the final vote on the matter taking place next Tuesday. 

The sale to Mathewson Properties LLC is the culmination of a “very lengthy process,” according to Town Administrator Nicole MacStay, after the town took possession of the development rights in 2013. 

The rights are for 60 units in addition to the units already on site, of which Mathewson intends to develop 50, said MacStay. 

Conservation Commission representative and co-chair Francie Von Mertens asked the board about affordable housing options, intending to bring information to the commission’s meeting on Thursday to provide selectmen with an official recommendation. 

“I just want reassurance that it’s impossible,” Von Mertens said of affordable housing in this area. 

MacStay said that the development was initially a mixed-housing type process, with Pine View Apartments nearby developed as a lower-income option. 

“It’s just been so long that they don’t appear to be in tandem anymore,” she said.

The town also does not own the land, but rather owns just the development rights. In order for a new development to be placed on the land, the condo association would have to approve – which they have repeatedly declined to do, MacStay said. In addition, since the condominium development was already approved many years ago, it would be difficult for the board to place requirements on the sale.

“What makes the most sense at this point is to move forward as it was intended,” MacStay said. 

The Select Board intends to have its final vote following the Conservation Commission’s official recommendation and the lapse of the statute-required week following the close of the public hearing.

Board members also voted Tuesday night to refinance three loans through the issuance of refunding bonds. The refinancing will be through the New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank, and would save the town $445,350 in interest over the years of repayment. The loans in question are a State Revolving Fund loan issued in 2012 with an outstanding principal amount of $346,439.39, a General Obligation Bond dated 2015 with an outstanding principal amount of $453,872.13, and a USDA bond issued in 2012 with an outstanding principal amount of $5,018,271. 

The refinancing comes at no additional cost to the town.

For the USDA loan, the town was offered the options of either an early official refinancing date to stave off a payment owed in February of $381,226, or a slightly later date following that payment which would save an additional $33,136 in the long-term. The Select Board opted for the early date in order to maintain short-term savings.

“It’ll make a big difference for our cash flow right now,” MacStay said. 


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