DERRY — The Town Council slammed the book on any hope of purchasing land for additional parking at Derry Public Library.
Councilors shelved the library's hopes of obtaining an adjacent property — the Shugrue property on Marlboro Road — for much-needed parking space.
Owners offered the property to the town at a reduced price, approximately $155,000. The land at the rear of the library could have added up to 22 parking spots for library patrons. Another $150,000 was estimated to be needed to create a parking lot once a home on the property was demolished.
But councilors said no to buying the property at its meeting on May 18.
"This is not the right time for the town to spend $300,000 for parking spaces," Councilor Kevin Coyle said.
Right now, the library on East Broadway has just 13 parking spaces, two of which are for handicapped patrons. Patrons also use the municipal lot on the other side of the Masonic lodge.
Earlier, library trustee Elizabeth Ives told councilors many library events are well attended. She said one recent program attracted approximately 75 people.
"That's a lot of cars," Ives said.
She added many parents with small children and older patrons often find it difficult to park in the municipal lot and walk to the library, especially during the winter.
Council Chairman Brad Benson said making a decision on purchasing property this quickly would be too impulsive. He added it was wise to wait until the council held its economic development workshops in the next few months.
"Our first economic development workshop will deal with downtown parking," he said. "We'll get through the planning process and see where that takes us."
Parking is a top issue being worked on by a downtown committee. The group meets regularly to talk about key issues in town.
Library officials said the Shugrue property would now go on the market since the town is not interested in the purchase.
Councilors said they would look into making the nearby municipal parking lot better and more attractive for library patrons to use.