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The Yankee Cannonball roller coaster at Canobie Lake Park may be joined by a new roller coaster next year if park officials get approval.

SALEM — Put your hands up, planners, it's roller coaster time.

Canobie Lake Park is in the planning stages of adding a new roller coaster, but it needs the town's permission to move forward.

"The type of ride is exciting and I think it will be a good addition," park spokesman Chris Nicoli said yesterday.

A hearing about the park's coaster plan is on the agenda for next week's Planning Board meeting.

Planning Director Ross Moldoff, who typically deals with requests for subdivisions and sign permits, said roller coasters are a nice change of pace.

"It's one of the fun parts of the job, actually, when Canobie Lake Park comes in for a new ride," he said.

Moldoff said plans submitted to the town show the roller coaster located near the Canobie Mall, in what is now a grassy area.

"It's not a large roller coaster. It's nowhere near the size of the Yankee Cannonball," Moldoff said, referring to the park's famous wooden coaster, which would remain Canobie's largest.

Still, it looks like the new ride might pack a punch. It' a Compact Euro-Fighter coaster, made by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, a German design company.

The coaster starts out with a 97-degree drop, and then can be customized to include loops, over-banked curves, zero-G humps and other "thrill elements," according to the company's website.

Nicoli said the new coaster was still in "the planning phase."

"I think this is a good step for us and we're excited," he said.

At the close of every season, park visitors start thinking about what new items they'd like to see next year, he said.

"Everybody, every year, kind of always says, 'What do you have new?'" Nicoli said. "It's almost assumed that amusement parks need to have something new."

And those people are almost always hoping to see a new roller coaster.

"I think everyone asks all the time," he said. "Even if we had many of them, they'd still want more."

Moldoff said the park has done a noise study and traffic study — and Planning Board members will get to see the coaster in action.

"They have a video of the ride that they're going to be showing at the Planning Board meeting," he said.

Moldoff said the noise study and video were taken from a similar version of the ride at an amusement park in the Netherlands.

"It ends up being a particularly quiet ride," he said.

He said the coaster is slated to be about 75 feet tall, just under the town's 80-foot limit. The addition of the ride to the park is on the agenda for the Planning Board meeting Tuesday.

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