To the Editor:
My wife and I, 5th and 3rd generation New Hampshire natives, moved to Kingston five years ago to live in a historic New Hampshire town and be close to a majestic seacoast. We love it here in Kingston and appreciate the simple and effective form of the New England government that manages our 328-year-old town. Many thanks to the multitude of town volunteers that commit thousands of hours annually to ensure that we have this wonderful place to live.
I am writing this letter to ask our town leadership how long this bucolic lifestyle will last in New Hampshire's 5th oldest town. It might, without any question, come to end shortly! If the residents of Kingston have not yet heard, a behemoth multi-billion dollar company has its sights set on our town, the home town of Josiah Bartlett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. This company is quietly and expeditiously moving legally through the state, town and Kingston Planning Board to lock up 20+ acres of environmentally precious flora and fauna to be transformed into an 800,000 square foot "distribution" center, that will have approximately 150+ trailer truck loading/unloading bays and hundreds of parking spaces for cars and trucks.
Many hours of discussion and numerous zoom calls (offered to all interested parties through the Town of Kingston website) have been heard involving "distribution" center representatives, the Kingston Planning Board, and the zoom call-in attendees (approximately 30-60 Kingston residents per zoom call). Much of this discussion pertained to local, state, and federal requirements for the numerous proposed buildings, access roadways, and impact studies on a variety of subjects including Rte. 125 east/west and Rte. 107 north/south.
Many letters have been submitted to the Planning Board from concerned citizens and questions/comments have been respectfully presented during the zoom calls regarding the following: the name of the "distribution" entity -- "they" (the "distribution" center's representatives) said that the "applicant" does not have to disclose that information; what about the actual number of trucks accessing (in/out) the "distribution" center, and bottling-up Rte. 125 daily -- no answer, but "they" said that 125 can support the activity; what about the actual/specific contents of the trucked/stored materials -- no answer ("they" did say, however, no toxic materials, really?); what about the never-ending sound and air pollution from hundreds of giant trailer trucks backing/idling 24/7 in and out of the "distribution" center -- "they" said that "they" will meet basic legal requirements to deal with sound and air pollution; what about the impact on abutting Little River and the attached environs/properties -- "they" said that there will be no significant impact. The list goes on, but I suspect that you, the readers, know and understand what is going on here. "They" want this "distribution" center and they aim to get it, if we do not slow them down with valuable community input and not allow "them" to attempt fast-tracking efforts and subtle intimidation mannerisms to our town Planning Board volunteers.
Beyond "their" intended, vague and evasive, non-specific responses, Kingston, as well as our neighboring towns, must consider the hundreds of trailer trucks that will be traveling Rte. 125 daily. Has anyone thought about the impact daily on the hard-working person who is part of the commuter traffic to Portsmouth, Manchester, and Massachusetts? (we all have been tangled in that nightmare at the Route 495 exits in Haverhill). What about the huge impact on Route 107? These trucks are going somewhere, but where? ("they" didn't talk about that either). Beware!! What about the potential impact on school buses and our children? Imagine bumper-to-bumper trailer trucks at all those stop lights on Route 125!
My last point -- please take a minute and look at other towns in New England that have been quietly invaded by such "distribution" centers and note the impact on property values, general community prosperity, residents' lifestyles, and the legacy left in our pristine historic New England towns.
Stand up, people!