By Barbara Tetreault
DIXVILLE NOTCH — While the developers of the Balsams Resort await a March decision from the N.H. Business Finance Authority on its financing package, Dixville Capital LLC. is seeking to discontinue three state-owned roads on the property.
The BFA is being asked to recommend a $28 million state loan guarantee to Service Credit Union, the chief lender on the project. BFA Executive Director James Key-Wallace did not return repeated phone calls and was reportedly busy with legislative meetings over the past week. But he told the Colebrook Chronicle last week that the loan guarantee is currently on the authority’s March 19 agenda and the board is expected to vote on it that day. If the board recommends providing the guarantee, the final decision would rest with the governor and executive council. The legislature voted three years ago to allow the state guarantee.
The $28 million is part of a $170 million financing package that also includes developer equity, construction debt, an EB-5 investment as well as equipment lease financing relating to the ski expansion. The application to the BFA was submitted in December with Balsams officials hoping to start the long planned reconstruction of the grand resort.
Ed Brisson of Dixville Capital, LLC notified the Coos County commissioners at their Feb. 14 meeting that the developers have met with the state Department of Transportation about discontinuing Cold Springs, Spur and Valley roads. The Class 2 roads are owned and maintained by the state.
Under the DOT roadway discontinuance process, the state first has to post notice that it has no use for the roads in two public places in the town and notify the select board in writing. In the case of an unincorporated place such as Dixville, the county commission serves the role of selectboard.
The commission has 60 days to notify abutters and hold a hearing to determine if the county decides there is a reason to keep any or all of the roads public under county ownership.
If the county decided it has no need for the roads, the property would revert back to the Balsams.
The commission voted to post the notices of discontinuation at the entrance of each road, at the county nursing homes in Berlin and Stewartstown, the Coos County Courthouse, and the Errol and Colebrook town halls.
Dixville Capital is proposing to reconstruct the historic Dix House, and renovate the historic Hampshire and Hale Houses. Encompassing the Dix and Hampsire Houses, the Balsams Lake Village would feature a new Lake Gloriette House hotel, a 600-seat conference center, Nordic baths and spa, a performing arts center and an open-air marketplace. The plan also includes expanding The Balsams Wilderness Ski Area into one of the largest, most technically advanced ski resorts on the East Coast.