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Former tavern site subject of pair of hearings

Union Leader Correspondent

October 28. 2013 12:57AM

DERRY — Two public hearings regarding land where the former Pinkerton Tavern once stood are scheduled next month.

The tavern at 13 Manchester Road was demolished two years ago to make way for development as part of the town's Manchester Road expansion project. Since then, the 1.38 acre site has been for sale.

Details on the former tavern site will not be available until the public hearings, scheduled for Nov. 5 and Nov. 19 on the third floor of the Municipal Center. Both meetings will start at 7:30 p.m.

Councilor Neil Wetherbee said the project has been going well and the sale of the property would benefit the town.

"It would be great to get that back on the tax rolls and improve the economic development situation," Wetherbee said Sunday night. "I'm hoping that's what will become of it."

Wetherbee said he would also like to see another property in town known as the Difeo site possibly added back to the tax rolls. The property at Central Court, once the site of Difeo Oil, was purchased by the town in 2008 for $225,000.

Citing a report by Public Works Director Michael Fowler, Acting Administrator Larry Budreau said earlier this month that plans call for cleaning up the property and cutting down brush. In addition, concrete would be broken up and trucked away.

Loam and seed could then possibly be added to the land to turn it into green space, according to the plan.

But the work has been slowed by monitoring wells that are on the property. Budreau said earlier this month that the town is working to ensure all of the wells are flagged before a contractor can come in with equipment to begin the operation.

Wetherbee said he can understand the need to clear the property and improve it, but is unsure whether spending the money is the best approach.

"That's something that I would like to see back on the tax rolls," he said.

For now, though, he said he will give the project the benefit of the doubt.

The property isn't presently for sale. Plans to sell the one-acre site have been delayed because of another possible land deal, Wetherbee said.

"It's really kind of a big mess," Wetherbee said. "I really think the council needs to bring it up and discuss it."

Wetherbee said he intends to bring up the matter of what to do with the property at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the municipal center.

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