By Henry Greenbaum
SANDOWN – The Sandown, New Hamp. Board of Selectmen met on Aug. 30 at the Sandown Town Hall for their weekly meeting.
The Selectmen started off the meeting by opening the floor to public comment and Jerry Lachance came forward. “I assume that we are here for the same thing that I talked about last week on the two lots on Main Street that were going for an amount of money,” said Lachance. “I have found out since then that those lots are already assessed by the town at $94,000 each.”
Selectmen Darren Hudgins chimed in after Lachance was finished with his comment. He said, “We quickly talked about this downstairs that the tax assessment is about 70% of the market value, so technically we have 30% and that would give us a place to start our market value at possibly.”
The Selectmen are thinking about starting the bid for the two lots at 30% of each of their market values in hopes to maximize how many bids they get and how much they could sell them for.
Longtime resident Carroll Bassett spoke with some displeasure over the plan. “I’m not much of a businessman, but I can’t see the sense in buying land for top dollar and then selling it for a third of what it is worth. It just does not make sense,” he said. “The land is recorded; you can look for it yourself. It was approved for three lots and all three lots were approved for duplexes.”
Selectmen Tom Tombarello responded to the comment saying, “We got the land in 1996 from Howard Johnson’s and if we were getting $10,000 a year for taxation, we would probably have a quarter of a million dollars.” He continued, “I was kind of excited that an individual could get a small business and get it into the town.”
The lots will likely be sold for commercial use. Tombarello is hoping that more small businesses will want to buy them. This would in turn bring some growth to Sandown which Tombarello feels has not happened for quite some time.
Dave Bellis is looking to buy the two Main Street lots and he was asked by Selectmen Robert Nickerson why he is buying five acres of the land which is more than he needs for one building. “We are looking at possibly doing more buildings after the first,” said Bellis. “We are looking for something that is about 5 acres.”
Bellis thanked the Selectmen in doing their due diligence and explained his plans for buying the land. He said, “I think that land is only worth what people are willing to pay for it and this property has been sitting around for a long time. We are looking to purchase the property for maybe a little under market value.”
Sandown has been trying to sell these lots for a long time and it may have come to the point where they have to sell for under its market value. If other business owners like Bellis do a cost analysis and come to the same conclusion as him when it comes to buying the lots, then it may be best to sell it for what he is asking.
The Sandown Board of Selectmen will meet again for their weekly meeting on Sep. 13 as the town offices will be closed on Sep. 6 for Labor Day.