Town Council Approves 17 Parcels to be Auctioned

The Derry Town Council has retained one more parcel for town use than originally suggested, and will put 17 on the auction block.

Tax Collector Dawn Enwright appeared at the Dec. 1 Council meeting for the second public hearing on the disposition of the properties, all of which were taken by tax deed.

The properties had been vetted by the Department of Public Works (DPW), Heritage Commission and Conservation Commission, with 18 recommended for sale and 17 recommended for retention for either DPW or conservation purposes.

In the public hearing portion of the meeting, resident Michael Layon asked, “If the town retains those 17 properties, will we be receiving an economic impact statement?”

Chairman Tom Cardon said he didn’t think so, adding, “It is not what has been done in the past.”

Resident Steve Proulx of Featherbed Lane said, “Every two years we end up going through this. I want to bid on the property abutting my land, so I don’t have to worry about someone putting a road in. I am asking you to be open to selling this, as long as the bidders understand it is landlocked.”

The parcel in question, 38-46 Featherbed Lane, is 7 acres and landlocked.

Proulx asked if the town could change the process by which it disposes of these properties, and Enwright said no. “Because they are tax-deeded, there are only two ways: selling by sealed bid or at auction. In the past, sealed bids have not been successful.”

Councilor Richard Tripp noted that of the 17 parcels to be retained, 15 were suggested by Conservation. “Is there a way they can be put under protection?” he asked.

Enwright said all 15 are on a master list of “do not sell” properties. “I am in the process of officially designating them, so you will never see them up for sale again,” she said.

Cardon brought up 157 Warner Hill Road, 34 acres abutting a wetland and Ballard Pond. It was on the “sell” list and Cardon wondered if it should be retained.

Alan Cote, superintendent of operations, said the parcel is “fairly wet” and could be accessed for conservation purposes. “If the Council feels it is in our best interest, we can retain it,” he said.

Cardon made a motion to remove 157 Warner Hill Road from the “sell” list and the Council unanimously approved it. The Council unanimously approved the disposition or retention of the remaining properties.

Properties to be retained include the following:

• Recommended by Conservation: 7 Montgomery Farm Road, wetland, not buildable; 110 Goodhue Road, landlocked, open space; 51.5 South Main St., landlocked, West Running Brook on property; 38-46 Featherbed Lane, landlocked, open space; 19 Partridge Lane, low and wet, abuts swamp; 19.5 Wildwood Drive, reserve for open space; 12 Forest St., vacant; 109.5 Bypass 28, wetland, abuts Lower Shields Pond; Chancellor Drive, reserve for open space; 83 Rockingham Road, reserve for open space, brook runs through it; 27 South Main St., wetland, abuts Beaver Brook and golf course; 5.5 Orchard Drive, wet swamp, landlocked; 4 and 6 Eileen Ave., wetland.

• Recommended by DPW: 27 Gena Ave., highway improvement; and Desmaris Ave., sewer easement.