Nashua battle: Mayor Lozeau's challenge
August 15. 2013 2:11AM
Kudos to Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau for stepping forward to be an honest broker on the city's behalf in trying to solve the riddle that is a city-owned parking lot near City Hall. It may take a bit longer than she imagined, but it is worth the effort.
The lot is leased to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. The hospital is growing and needs more parking. Next door is a CVS drug store (a nice fit near a hospital, we'd say).
The CVS also needs parking and is trying to conform to the city's master plan when it rebuilds. That requires moving its building closer to Main Street. Parking would be in the back.
That's part of the same parking that the hospital wants. The hospital is considering building a multi-story garage and an addition to its medical facilities.
The mayor brought the parties together months ago and they have finally agreed on a plan that would satisfy both, as well as bringing more parking spaces to downtown and, if the hospital builds, more jobs along with it.
She has put this before the public and has asked the aldermen to vote it up or down. Some aldermen are worried that the deal is worth more to the city than a lease/purchase price of $720,000. Some have also muttered that the CVS property owner will gain from the deal.
No doubt it would. But no one else is knocking down the door to offer more at the moment.
The aldermen have referred the issue to committee, which should take a hard look at it. If the proposal is sound, which we suspect it is, a few weeks' delay won't change it.