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Derry property divides council
Last year, the Town Council gave its approval to purchase several pieces of property between Central Street and Sawyer Court to package together with an existing town-owned property in the area. After the purchases were complete, the town would then put out a request for proposals for the development of the property.
Town Administrator John Anderson went before the Town Council seeking $450,000 for the purchase as well as the razing of the building and the building on Central Street that was purchased last year.
"That building pays tax revenue now and if you take it off the tax roll, there is a tax impact," said Coyle.
"Why are you speculating with my money?" Coyle asked the council. "That's the problem I have, that the previous council made the decision to speculate with my money."
"If this was a good idea, a private developer would have come in already," said Coyle. "But they're not because it's not a good idea. It's speculation."
Derry Downtown Committee member Michael Gendron said the town has to aim high if it wants to revitalize the downtown.
"Our motto for the downtown committee is to dream big," he said. "We have big dreams for what our downtown could be."
"The only way that will ever happen is if we market this space effectively, letting the world know through the RFP process that we are an economically friendly and welcoming community that invests in economic development," said Gendron. "This is exactly the time to invest in Derry's economic future and the key to success is to dream big."
"Unless there is a solid, feasible plan demonstrating what this can do for us, you're just throwing darts blindly and I think that's crazy," said Martin.
Last week, he was joined by the council's three newly elected members — Al Dimmock, Mark Osborne and Tom Cardon — in voting against the purchase of the Sawyer Court property. Councilors Brad Benson, Neil Wetherbee and Phyllis Katsakiores supported the purchase.
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