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Johnsburg looks for balance in growth

For example, during a round of negotiations with Front Street developers last year, it came to light that the North Creek Fire Department lacked a piece of fire-fighting apparatus with sufficient reach to protect buildings of the height being proposed in the Front Street project. Town leaders negotiated a deal in which Front Street would pay the cost of the ladder truck, the cost of which is estimated at about $1 million, needed to protect Front Street structures. In addition, Front Street agreed to pay for improvements at the firehouse needed to house the truck.

In the case of the Tall Timbers, the town is close to an agreement to allow Tall Timbers to bring two wells online with the town water system provided the town receive the excess capacity generated by the wells. The wells are capable of producing twice the amount needed for Tall Timbers, meaning the town will benefit from approximately 40,000 additional gallons per day capacity from the two wells.

In addition, Goodspeed noted during the meeting, the wells tap into a different aquifer, thereby providing the town an additional water source should another aquifer become contaminated or otherwise unavailable.

With the ski hut project at Ski Bowl Park, the town negotiated an agreement with Front Street that will provide septic for the new building in perpetuity, paid for by Front Street.

Not only has the board worked to pass the cost of physical improvements such as water and roads on to developers, the board has developed fee structures to pass the costs incurred by the Planning Board and Zoning Board and town attorney and engineer on to developers. The reasoning is straight forward, Goodspeed said. Were it not for these development applications, the town wouldnt incur these costs. Therefore its only right that the developer cover the costs rather than passing them on to the taxpayers.

Its interesting times for Johnsburg, Goodspeed said. Thats for sure. The main thing is we need to protect our resources and find some balance so we dont lose the reasons that make it so we all want to live here.

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