Posted: 11/17/2021 10:58:01 AM
The Peterborough Select Board has closed its second public hearing on condominium development rights in Southfield Village with the aim of holding the final vote on the matter next Tuesday.
The sale to Mathewson Properties LLC is the culmination of a “very long process,” according to city administrator Nicole MacStay, after the city took possession of the development rights in 2013.
The rights are for 60 units in addition to the units already there, of which Mathewson intends to develop 50, MacStay said.
Conservation Commission representative and co-chair Francie Von Mertens asked the board about affordable housing options, intending to bring information to the commission meeting on Thursday to provide elected officials an official recommendation.
“I just want to be reassured that it is impossible,” said Von Mertens of affordable housing in this neighborhood.
MacStay said the development was initially a mixed housing type process, with nearby Pine View Apartments developed as a low-income option.
“It’s been so long that they don’t seem to be in tandem anymore,” she said.
The city does not own the land either, but only the development rights. For a new development to be placed on the land, the condominium association would have to approve – something it has repeatedly refused, MacStay said. In addition, since the development of the condominium was already approved many years ago, it would be difficult for the board of directors to impose requirements on the sale.
“What makes the most sense at this point is to go ahead as planned,” MacStay said.
The board intends to have its final vote following the official recommendation of the Conservation Commission and the expiration of the legally required week after the close of the public hearing.
Board members also voted Tuesday night to refinance three loans through the issuance of repayment bonds. The refinancing will be done through the New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank and would save the city $ 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 dated 2015 with an outstanding principal amount of $ 453,872.13 and a bond. USDA issued in 2012 with an outstanding principal amount of $ 5,018,271.
Refinancing is at no additional cost to the city.
For the USDA loan, the city was offered either an early official refinancing date to avoid a February payment due of $ 381,226, or a slightly later date after that payment, which would save money. $ 33,136 additional long term. The Select Board opted for the early date in order to keep short-term savings.
“It will make a big difference to our cash flow right now,” MacStay said.