Welcome guest, you have 3 views left. | Register | Sign In
 Contests
 Readers' Choice
 Movie times
 Property Transfers
 Auctions
 Restaurant reviews
action:article | category:NEWS13 | adString:NEWS13 | zoneID:7

Home » News » Avenues

AVENUES PARTNERS:
NH homes for sale

Search MLS

Courtesy of


Type:
Residential
Condominium
Multi Family
Land
Mobile Home
Commercial
Rentals

Towns & cities:
Price:
Low:   $
High:   $
Villages:

Locate open houses

Search By MLS #

Classifieds


 ♦ REAL ESTATE
 ♦ APARTMENTS
 ♦ HOME SERVICES
 ♦ MERCHANDISE

Click to place free online ad for items valued under $500.

Opinion

May 28. 2013 12:09AM

Derry property divides council

DERRY — Over the past two decades, town officials have struggled with plans to revive Derry's flagging downtown.

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.

Although the previous Town Council approved the purchase of a multi-family building at 8 Central Street last year for $173,000, this year's dramatically reconfigured Town Council shot down the purchase of a larger, eight-unit building on Sawyer Court last week.

The town had a purchase and sale agreement in place with Ron Varney for the purchase and was looking to close on the sale by June 1.

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.

The purchase price for the building itself was $375,000, and the money for the purchase and demolition of the buildings would have come from existing funds, including the town's land and building capital reserve fund and the town's assigned general fund balance.

During the public hearing on the proposed purchase, several residents questioned the wisdom of spending money on properties that are tucked back from the main road of West Broadway without having a clear development plan in place. It was also pointed out that there was a property in the middle of the proposed RFP land that the town has not yet been able to purchase.

Former town councilor Kevin Coyle said the Sawyer Court building is not in the most desirable section of town and its assessed value is only $260,000.

"That building pays tax revenue now and if you take it off the tax roll, there is a tax impact," said Coyle.

As part of the purchase and sales agreement with the town, Varney agreed to have the tenants of the eight units in the building out by May 15.

"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."

Coyle said there have been several cases over the past decades where the town has spent money on downtown development to less than stellar results.

"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."

Not everyone who spoke at the public hearing was against the development plan.

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."

He asked the council to envision the downtown parcel as a medical building, college or low-impact manufacturing facility.

"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."

Resident Kelly Martin said it was difficult to support the economic development plan without the town sharing solid plans for the property.

"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.

Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks was the only councilor to oppose the purchase of the Central Court property.

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.

aswift@newstote.com




Real Estate

The redevelopment of The Balsams, pictured on a recent weekend, got a boost when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law a bill that would keep the tax burden low in Dixville and neighboring Millsfield.

PILOT agreement allowed to stand after Hassan signs bill

State to sell building to Concord

State ends fiscal 2014 with $5.8 million revenue surplus

Concord wants New Hampshire building

Casino referendum in Mass. seen as having no NH impact

Home & Garden

Terri McKinnon walks along a path through perennials in the yard in Goffstown.

Good neighbors make great gardens in Goffstown

READER COMMENTS: 0

That three special gardens in greater Manchester are right beside each other is mostly a (very big) coincidence.

Salem community gardens enjoying a successful summer

READER COMMENTS: 0

The growing season is a little late this year, thanks to a wet spring, but everything seems to be running smoothly at the town's community gardens at Hawkins Farm.

Route 101 expansion process in Bedford begins

READER COMMENTS: 0

Executive Council asked to name two committees to begin laying out Bedford expansion project.

Fresh strawberries from Barrett Hill Farm in Mason, one of many New Hampshire farms offering Community Supported Agriculture programs for customers.Kathleen Baglio Humphreys

CSA offers customers a share of the farmer's green thumb

READER COMMENTS: 0

You want garden fresh vegetables but just don't have the green thumb, land or time to plant then tend to your own garden all summer long? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an affordable and...

Hooksett School Board to consider land purchase

READER COMMENTS: 0

School board members have agreed to discuss the idea of purchasing a large piece of landlocked property adjacent to Cawley Middle School, though a potential sale is far from imminent.

Karen Holland's garden jewels can be designed to sit on the ground or, as seen above, mounted on a copper pole to create a taller focal point in the garden.

Lyndeborough woman makes unique garden art

READER COMMENTS: 0

Karen Holland started A Touch of Glass NH and began selling her hand-made, one-of-a-kind garden jewels last fall, and the interest is growing as fast as her garden grows.

Hearing for Goffstown townhouse project moved to July

READER COMMENTS: 0

Applicants GPS Properties decided to continue the hearing to July because a quorum was not present to review the case at the last ZBA meeting.

Knowing when - and what - to let go of with garage sale

READER COMMENTS: 0

MY GARAGE sale has come and gone and with it a letting-go of sorts - of possessions, plans, dreams, false ideas.

Weare prepping for 250th anniversary

READER COMMENTS: 0

Weare's is celebrating their 250th Anniversary with a different theme each month which started in January and will end in September. June's celebration will be a lawn party on June 21 at the Clinton...

Farmers Market Open in Downtown Hanover

READER COMMENTS: 0

Bring home the makings for a fresh, locally-grown meal or grab a snack, straight from the farm to the table.