By John Toole
---- — PELHAM — The town is moving ahead with plans to purchase and conserve about 37 acres in southwest Pelham.
Officials have worked on the land deal since January of last year.
The Conservation Commission unanimously recommended the purchase.
Commissioners have concluded the deal would protect water resources and wildlife habitat, while providing opportunity for outdoor recreation.
“We’re very happy about this,” commissioner Karen Mackay said. “It’s really important. This connects to other land we already own.”
The town would use $264,000 in conservation funds to buy the land.
The land is part of a 39.5-acre property at 16-18 Greenmeadow Drive. Town records list the owner as Merrimack Valley Homes. The property is valued at more than $500,000.
Selectmen hold the first of two hearings on the proposal today. Selectmen convene at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall, with officials detailing the land deal during a forum at 6:45 p.m.
A second hearing also is required. Selectmen have scheduled that for July 23.
The purchase would give the town about 500 conservation acres from Cutter Woods to Gumpas Pond available for hiking and biking.
Meanwhile, parks and recreation director Brian Johnson is scheduled to speak with selectmen at 7:30 p.m. about Raymond Park facilities and signs in town parks.
Planning Director Jeff Gowan will speak with the board at 7:15 p.m. about a town flood study.
Selectmen also are getting ready to start work on the 2014 budget.
Their first work session is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16, at Town Hall.