, Derry, New Hampshire

September 26, 2013

Londonderry councilors OK Hicks land purchase

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The town will have 12 new acres of open space to enjoy.

Town councilors approved the purchase of a tract of land on High Range Road at a meeting Monday night.

The 12-acre parcel, owned by David and George Hicks, was eyed by officials as a perfect choice to add to the list of town-owned conservation properties.

Conservation Commission members recommended the purchase.

The Hicks family approached the town and was willing to sell the property for $60,000, less than an appraised value that was almost twice the price.

It’s a good deal for the town, officials say.

“We thought, this is too good to be true,” Conservation Commission member Paul Nickerson said.

It’s a valuable piece that will add a lot to that area and nearby properties, officials say. That’s because it abuts another conservation piece, the Plummer property. It also serves to help connect some other town trails and areas for recreational use.

It’s often difficult to those using other trails to make those connections. The Plummer land doesn’t have good access for pedestrians, who end up crossing private property to get to other town-owned points of destination.

Adding the Hicks piece to the puzzle would solve that problem, Nickerson said.

Conservation members will monitor the property as they do all town conservation lands and are launching an effort to put a land stewardship initiative into place.

Councilors questioned whether the Hicks land was free of any contaminants or other hidden problems.

Dan Hicks said his land has been clean and wooded for generations.

“For as long as I’ve been on the Earth,” he said.

Councilor Tom Dolan thanked the Hicks family for their contribution to Londonderry.

“I think it’s a very generous offer,” Dolan said.

Nickerson said the Hicks property will offer a long list of opportunities for those who like to hike, ski, walk or ride a bike