Commission, group share purpose
To the Editor:
In his letter of Nov. 5, Mr. Killam wrongfully attacked the Milford Conservation Commission (CC) for its perceived role in the Brox land sale matter. We shouldn’t forget that the Board of Selectmen had blindsided the CC and had not even asked for an opinion.
The people of Milford should know that the essential part of the statutory mission of the CC is "the proper utilization and protection of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources" all over town. (See RSA 36- A:2.) The mission of Brox Environmental Citizens is "helping to bring good conservation to the Brox town lands." The missions create a natural alliance of purpose.
To be clear, the CC has not allied itself with Brox Environmental Citizens and there is no need to, as their similar purposes are what matter.
Mr. Killam, a banker, I believe, ponders the loss of money. However, a fair analysis of the financials of the land deal reveals its financial shortcomings. Right up front, the town would have received a low $168,000 for land assessed at over $600,000. There was no guarantee later of seeing $60,000 in annual tax revenue from a single company, not enough to compensate for the initial loss for many years. Meanwhile the costs to the town would have risen for maintaining new roads and providing services.
Brox Environmental Citizens is a grassroots group of regular Milford people from all walks of life. Some value the trails and connecting them to other town trails, others the great open space and scenery, others the abundant wildlife and still others, the fact that Brox is home to rare, threatened and endangered species whose sensitive habitat would not mix well with development. For all these reasons, if speaking up helps save a special place like the Brox town lands, then we’re glad to do it.
A lot has changed in 15 years since the land was bought. A natural resources inventory was done last year, giving us more reason to rethink Brox, given all that we now know and care about.
Paul F. Cunningham, Ph.D.
Member of Brox Environmental Citizens