, Derry, New Hampshire


October 31, 2013

Editorial: Get town-owned properties back into private hands


We’re inclined to agree with Councilor Neil Wetherbee and others, who say now is the wrong time to be committing taxpayers to spending more money.

“Parks cost money in terms of construction and upkeep,” Wetherbee said.”They also don’t generate any tax revenue. Given our budgetary situation, I personally don’t know where that money would come from.”

Wetherbee said it’s time to try to recoup the purchase price for the two parcels.

“I think we owe it to (the taxpayers) to explore ways to sell/develop it and recoup our money and get it back on the tax rolls,” he said.

That’s the idea the town is exploring with the former Pinkerton Tavern property at 13 Manchester Road. A deal for the 1.38-acre parcel appears to be in the works. The town will hold two public hearings on property’s future. The first will be Nov. 5, the second is Nov. 19. Both meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal center’s third-floor meeting room.

“I am hopeful we can get that property back on the tax rolls as well,” he said.

Holding vacant, unused property serves little purpose for a community. These empty lots can even be liabilities, attracting trash and illicit activity. It is much better to put these properties back into private hands and encourage their productive use. Doing so improves the chances they will be well maintained and a source of tax revenue for the community.

That’s the option Derry should pursue with its town-owned properties.

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