DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

March 7, 2013

Town Council ponder priorities for town's future

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — The Town Council has issues and many are still on the front burner.

Councilors talked about their top priorities at a workshop Feb. 19 and many projects are still considered open issues on the list.

Issues include some that are still outstanding, some being resolved and others needing more discussion.

The issues councilors hope to tackle include signing a new five-year lease with the organizations calling the Adams Memorial Building home. Those groups include the Greater Derry Arts Council and the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.

Another priority is to discuss the town’s cable usage and how to handle the money in the department’s fund. Those discussions include talking with the school district about their own cable workings, and how the town and schools could possibly join forces to help save money and efforts.

“This is one of those (collaborative) efforts we are looking for with the school,” Town Council Chairman Brad Benson said.

Town Administrator John Anderson said the town’s sign ordinance updates are almost ready to be officially approved and that’s one item that can be marked off the open issue list.

“The (sign ordinance) should be on the Town Council agenda in April,” Anderson said.

The topic of the Manchester Road property where the demolished Pinkerton Tavern once stood is still on the list, Anderson said.

Anderson said it’s time to get the lot sold.

“We’ve had three people interested in the property,” he said. “We have to have some action there.”

The tavern was razed as part of the town’s Route 28/Manchester Road expansion project that is now complete.

The town’s 911 system is also on the open issues list, Anderson said, after the town signed last fall to have a state 911 emergency mapping program come to town.

Councilors approved the measure, saying that bringing the state’s Bureau of Emergency Communications’ 911 mapping system to town would be a big help. Derry is one of only a handful of communities that had not previously opted for the free state service.

The mapping will put representatives out into neighborhoods to make detailed maps of the areas, including homes, fire hydrants, businesses and landmarks.

Information is then presented to the town with any recommendations from the state that might enhance emergency response time.

By mapping the town, emergency officials can pinpoint areas that may pose potential delays in response time.

Anderson said the mapping process could take up to two years to finish.

Economic development also remains a key focus, Anderson noted, saying the downtown is a major player in the town’s future for growth and tax relief.

Officials said they will ponder the open issues list and see what is the most important.

“Now we need to figure out our priorities again,” Town Councilor Joel Olbricht said.