, Derry, New Hampshire

January 16, 2014

Londonderry history group questions budget

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The town’s history group hopes it won’t lose $1,000 from its budget for next year.

The Londonderry Historical Society has a budget of $7,500. Losing any of that would deeply affect what the group does, according to member Sue Joudrey.

She came before the Town Council at a meeting Jan. 6, hoping to convince town officials not to take any money away from the organization.

Money goes to pay not only for historical programs and town museum upkeep, but also for security, utilities and insurance.

“This was a little concerning to us,” Joudrey told councilors.

One major project that would take a hit is the future restoration of the Rev. Morrison House. The the historic home is in pieces, kept in storage and in trailer boxes, Joudrey said.

That home was taken down from its previous site on Gilcreast Road and brought over to the museum property on Pillsbury Road, according to Historical Society member Ann Chiampa.

It’s the oldest home in Londonderry, dating back to the 1730s.

Chiampa said losing $1,000 would make rebuilding that home that much more difficult.

“Londonderry Historical Society members put their heart and soul into all their hard work and efforts,” she said.

Chiampa read from a letter submitted by Historical Society president Heather Rojo, saying the group does so much to maintain the historical integrity of the town.

“We are a small society with a tight budget,” Rojo’s letter stated.

She went on to say the group is managing the historical site on Pillsbury Road, where there are four very old buildings already standing and attempts being made to get a fifth constructed.

Getting the Rev. Morrison house built is a top priority.

“We would like to see it on its foundation instead of inside container truck trailers in hundreds of pieces,” Rojo said.

Town Council Chairman John Farrell said he hoped the history group could work with Town Manager Kevin Smith to somehow find a way to keep the funding intact.

“Let’s see if we can somehow come up with $1,000,” he said.