North Country
3:53 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Meeting Planned Over Owners Complaint That Balsams Renovation Is Stalled

The Colebrook Planning Board has called a special meeting May 22 to try and resolve an issue the new owners of the Balsams Grand Resort say is delaying its renovation.

The owners,  Dan Dagesse and Dan Hebert, are asking the Planning Board to approve a subdivision that would separate a 28-acre parcel from the roughly 1,000 acres that currently includes the hotel, grounds and golf course.

The parcel is not near the hotel and includes what is sometimes described as a “liquid waste dump” because it is thought to contain waste from the latex factory that once operated elsewhere on the property.

At a meeting on May 1, the Planning Board decided to delay making a decision on whether to grant the sub-division until more could be learned about possible environmental problems.

Minutes of the meeting show that for some – including Select Board member Bob Holt –  the major concern was whether that 28-acre parcel might – at some time – wind up owned by a different corporation that might abandon it.  

That might leave Colebrook responsible for a clean-up if the site contains hazardous materials.

Owners Dagesse and Hebert did not attend the meeting.

But the day after the meeting  their public-relations firm issued a news release saying the Planning Board’s failure was causing a delay that puts the resort’s future in jeopardy.

Spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne told NHPR the problem was that it would be difficult to get financing with that parcel legally being part of the Balsams.

The release also said Hebert and Dagesse planned to keep the parcel but under ownership of a separate company. 

The May 22ndpublic hearing will start at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. It is expected that officials from New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services will attend.