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August 15, 2013

Derry building razed; councilors split on future

(Continued)

Now, he’s lost a bit of faith.

“I frankly don’t have a lot of hope for downtown revitalization at this point in time,” he said. “The majority of the Town Council as it sits today seems to have little to no interest in the downtown or driving any kind of economic development.”

There have been many ideas through the years as to how to move forward with a downtown plan including possible parking, residential areas and more business-friendly areas. Buying specific properties made sense to some, including Wetherbee.

“In my view, the purchase of property downtown was a package deal and with the controversy and ill-will generated by the sudden pullout of the town, it seems the complete package will never be realized,” he said.

But it came down to other councilors wanting more information on what the property would be used for.

“If these properties offer such spectacular business opportunities, then why aren’t private businesses or real estate moguls jumping at the opportunity to buy them?” Osborne asked.

He objected to the property purchases and said the town should only buy properties that would benefit the whole community and be enjoyed by every taxpayer, like parks, playgrounds, bike trails and open space.

“Pouring more tax funds into Main Street is not going to reduce the Derry tax burden,” Osborne said. “IBM and Silicone Valley are not coming to Sawyer Court or Martin Street, sorry to say.”

Cardon agreed and said the town could do better things with its money.

“I have a few thoughts on revitalization that I am putting together,” he said. “Nothing big, but a step in the right direction.”

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