The Northern Pass project today notified the Neil Tillotson Trust that it is willing to purchase the conservation easement over much of the property of “The Balsams,” if a sale of the easement to The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) doesn’t occur.
The SPNHF recently said it will not pursue the easement if it cannot also obtain the rights to a utility right-of-way easement across the property as well. In light of SPNHF’s position, and because Northern Pass is committed to the conservation of the Balsams property, we have extended an offer to purchase the conservation easement in addition to the utility easement.
In a letter to the chair of the Trust, Northern Pass said it will purchase the easement for $850,000. The offer also includes provisions of the initial offer from Northern Pass to the Trust to purchase the utility right-of-way for $2 million and provide a $200,000 payment to support medical services at the Colebrook Hospital. In total, the offer will provide more than $3 million to the Tillotson Trust for charitable purposes. If the offer is accepted, Northern Pass would then look to find an appropriate partner committed to conserving the Balsams to hold the conservation easement over the more than 5,600 acres of land.
We believe that the project’s purchase of the utility right-of-way easement can co-exist with a conservation easement over the surrounding land, and together maximize revenue to the Tillotson Trust that can be redistributed to the residents and communities in the area for essential health, social and economic services—in keeping with the Trust’s objectives.
This offer and the project’s previous request to the Attorney General regarding the sale of the utility right of way on the Balsams property to SPNHF has no impact on the completed sale of the Balsams Resort and more than 7,000 acres of land. Northern Pass is pleased that the future of the Balsams Resort is secure and that the new owners are committed to maintaining the 300 jobs and tremendous economic value the resort brings to the North Country. We look forward to working with them in the future, and wish them well in their efforts to renovate and re-open the resort.