For any organization big or small, this has been a challenging year to say the least. With no pandemic playbook on the shelf, organizations have had to pivot with great speed to react to a new normal. Internally at NHCIBOR I have been grateful for the support of executive officer Allison Ropes and the 100% volunteer board and committees to help as issues arise. One of the benefits of being president is that you get to acknowledge those members who have gone above and beyond by presenting the Realtor and Affiliate of the Year. This year it’s an honor to congratulate Ralph Valentine of The Valentine Group as the Realtor of the Year and Scott Kingsly of Primary Bank as the affiliate of the year. I want to thank Ralph for the many phone calls in gaining insight on previous contracts that NHCIBOR had and willingness to speak and research public policy issues and Scott for his willingness to jump head first into any task no questions asked. These two were voted by their peers and I am truly thankful for all efforts and these awards are well deserved for these individuals.
It’s also great to report that NHCIBOR Cares, NHCIBOR’s Charitable arm, has been focused on the local community contributing to the Manchester Christian Church back/pack supply drive to help with school supplies and nutritious snacks for those in need. In your community if you hear of an organization in need please reach out to one of the board members through our website.
On the education front, if you are new to the industry, the CCIM Institute is offering free on demand and online commercial oriented classes to provide a deeper foundation of the analytical skills needed in commercial real estate. Visit CCIM for more information.
Also please join us online September 25th from 9am to 12pm for our third quarter meeting which will also feature an energy seminar on how businesses are dealing with the high cost of energy in New England vs other parts of the country.
Bob Quinn, vice president of government affairs has outlined the following legislative updates for NH.
Court appoints first Housing Appeal Board members
It has been a long and winding road in establishing a NH Housing Appeal Board, including three bills this session designed to eliminate the board before it ever got off the ground. Last summer, New Hampshire Realtors sent more than 4,000 emails asking legislators to include funding for the Housing Appeals Board, which is designed to provide a quicker and less expensive alternative for property owners to appeal local land use decisions. It was one of the last items to be included in the state’s 2019 budget debate.
The NH Supreme Court has now appointed three members to Housing Appeals Board:
• Gregory Michael, attorney, Bernstein Shur (five-year term)
• Marc Stevens, land surveyor, private practice (four-year term)
• Elizabeth Fischer, real estate broker (three-year term)
There is no word as to when this appellate body will be ready to hear cases.
Governor signs bill establishing strictest PFAS water standards; creates loan program
House Bill 1264 sets new maximum contaminants levels for certain PFAS chemicals (PFOA 12 parts per trillion; PFOS 15 ppt; PFHxS 18 ppt; and PFNA at 11 ppt) in “community water systems.”
In addition to municipal water supplies, the definition of community water systems include most condo associations, HOAs and some businesses.
The state acknowledges that the costs to remediate to the new limits will be very expensive and has therefore set aside $50 million for PFAS issues. Those dollars will be used by the Department of Environmental Services to make low interest loans to community water systems for remediation efforts. The DES estimates that total costs to resolve the problem are likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The state is currently engaged in a lawsuit with the manufacturers of these chemicals, and HB 1264 requires any judgement or settlement to be used to grant partial loan forgiveness to any loan recipients, up to 50% of the loan principal.
Governor signs broadband legislation into law
House Bill 1111 would allow municipalities to join together by formal agreement to create separate “Communications districts.” These districts would allow towns to use bonding authority for broadband infrastructure as well as for contracting with service providers. Both the Senate and House passed the legislation with broad bipartisan support, and the Governor signed the bill into law last week.
In addition, N.H. governor Sununu authorized $50 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to address the increased need for internet connectivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Planned and permitted projects that have not commenced construction may be eligible. All expenditures under this program will end by December 30, 2020, and the projects must be complete as early as possible, and no later than December 15, 2020. Click here for more info the Connecting NH Fund.
Christian Stallkamp is a senior broker with The Boulos Co., Portsmouth, N.H. and is the 2020 president of the N.H Commercial Investment Board of Realtors, Bedford, N.H.