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December 19, 2013

Derry officials to ponder town-owned property

Councilors will get list of all land the town owns

DERRY —The Town Council has made a New Year’s resolution to study all the property Derry owns.

Councilors plan to have a list of all town-owned properties in hand as 2014 gets started. They will make real estate a top issue for discussion.

“It will be good to get the list,” Councilor Brad Benson said.

Derry could own upward of 100 properties. Many are schools, parks and town fields. Other properties make the inventory list due to people’s failure to pay taxes or other reasons.

“Some is also conservation land we can’t touch,” Councilor Al Dimmock said.

Town land has been a popular topic of conversation at recent meetings.

A joint Town Council and Planning Board meeting gave both sides a chance to talk about goals for Derry and how to make properties more valuable to potential businesses that might want to locate here.

The town owns several properties downtown, including the former Difeo oil property that could be earmarked for future development.

Councilor Tom Cardon wants to see a park created there to help boost the downtown. Others want properties sold to put more tax revenue on the books.

The Town Council recently approved a potential land deal to sell a 1.38-acre property at 13 Manchester Road, the site of the former Pinkerton Tavern.

Councilors held two public hearings on that land deal prior to giving their OK to sell it. The tavern was one of 15 properties standing in the way of the town’s Route 28 widening project from the Crystal Avenue/Tsienneto Road intersection up toward Ashleigh Drive.

Many in town were against the eventual demise of the tavern.

Derry finally paid $722,842 for the property in 2011. The building was torn down the following year.

The parcel is assessed at $255,000.

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said there is an interested buyer, but would not give specifics.

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