Bill For Courthouse Killed

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By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, February 8, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON -- The state Public Works and Highway Committee killed a bill last week that could have used the $7 million appropriation slated for the Merrimack District Court to build the Hampton/Exeter District Courthouse.

HB 1438, sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, and Rep. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, was introduced Jan. 2.

When the legislation was filed, Merrimack was involved in a dispute with the state over the land. The Public Works and Highway Committee moved to kill the bill after it was learned Merrimack moved forward to donate the property to the state.

"The bill got a lukewarm reception because we don't have the land yet," Hassan said. "There is a hesitance to take money away from Merrimack without us saying we've got land ready to go."

A proposal to use surplus land owned by the state Department of Transportation to build a Hampton/Exeter courthouse also received a lukewarm response.

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