Giving away the Library Land

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Postby mmoy » Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:29 pm

RFTO1111 wrote:Yes I could see some additional OT too if police have to travel, but again, 2500 bucks a week. How many trips to court do they make in a week? Seems high to me.


At a loaded rate of $50/hour (I don't know what the real rate is), that's 50 hours. So 10 round trips per day. Is that reasonable? I don't know.
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Postby JMac1000 » Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:55 pm

As I understand it, the TM said the Chief told him his overtime costs would double, from 65k to 130k. Of couse this may be a guess on his part, as certainly would depend on where the courthouse would be built, it it were not in Merrimack. The TM did raise a good point. Right now the officers have the luxury of driving over and showing up right as their case starts, and that if this were out of town, they could have to wait all day. If the Court were built on Continental BLVD, for example I fail to see how much difference that would make in an officers time vs. say, Downtown Nashua. However, if what Chief says is true, that would a big waste of an officers time, if they had to sit around all day vs. just appearing locally. This could cost the taxpayers a bit more money, and I think its unfortunate for officers to sit around all day, and its a waste of valuable resources.. This may all be an exaggeration, and more detail should be asked from the PD to justify this. Its worth examining closer.

Regardless, I see nothing wrong with looking for donated land from a developer, or something from the Village district, of the school. This will get done. If the state is not happy with the land, oh well.
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Postby mmoy » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:03 pm

Downtown Nashua would be more time as you have
to drive through areas that could be congested and
you have to find parking which can sometimes take
a few minutes and a few nickles. It may be that if
you're from out of town, that you don't have as much
control over the schedule and may have to do the
"sit around and wait" thing more often.

I would assume that Bedford already has to deal
with this sort of thing.

I'm not exactly sure what family court does but I
would assume that residents of Merrimack would
use it and it would be a convenience to them in the
form of reduced travel time.
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Postby Wayne » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:45 pm

RD wrote:Jamie, were any particular council members speaking out FOR including the library land on the article?

Does anyone else have the answer to RD's question?
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:50 pm

FYI - I thought some folks might be interested in seeing what types of cases are heard in town. Merrimack District Court also covers Bedford and Litchfield.

Types of cases heard in Merrimack District Court

The District Courts, located in 36 cities and towns across the state, are truly New Hampshire’s "community courts."

Cases within the jurisdiction of the district court involve families, juveniles, small claims, landlord tenant matters, minor crimes and violations and civil cases in which the disputed amount does not exceed $25,000.

The legislature, in establishing the district court locations, believed that these kinds of matters should be handled at the local level so that court staff, police departments, social service workers and members of the community can work closely with each other to help the parties involved reach a fair and effective resolution of their case.


Here is some information about Merrimack District Court

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/courtloca ... #Merrimack
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Postby RD » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:56 pm

Wayne wrote:
RD wrote:Jamie, were any particular council members speaking out FOR including the library land on the article?

Does anyone else have the answer to RD's question?

Anyone?
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Postby chrisorteg » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:01 pm

Christopher S. Ortega
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:00 pm

I don't get it. They are still talking about donating land even though it may not be the library spot.

Is it really going to cost us that much on mileage and over time if Bedford ponies up land for a courthouse? Or will the state refuse to build a courthouse here if they have to purchase the land?

I hope this is explained in more detail. I really wanted to see the meeting but unfortunately it was the same night as the bud com and at this time I haven't seen the play back yet.
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Postby Ann Goldman » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:25 pm



Perhaps the Chelsea Group could donate some of the land where the outlet mall is going. The police will already be spending more time in that area due to car accidents and thefts. The shoplifters could be tried right near the scene of the crime :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:36 pm

Ann

The shoplifters could be tried right near the scene of the crime


Too funny!

Why not take over the old bowling alley site? That property would certainly be large enough and there's already a traffic light in place, plenty of parking and several eating places. It's right across from Dunkin' Donuts - handy for the police. :D
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Postby Ann Goldman » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:36 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Ann

The shoplifters could be tried right near the scene of the crime


Too funny!

Why not take over the old bowling alley site? That property would certainly be large enough and there's already a traffic light in place, plenty of parking and several eating places. It's right across from Dunkin' Donuts - handy for the police. :D


That's a good one too Jeannine but I suspect there will be a Dunkin' Donuts near the outlet mall too. I mean they are all over Merrimack now - are we really that much of a donut eating population? I think we have 6 now if you count the ones in Shaws. The bowling alley is a good location if you can convince the owners.
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Postby JMac1000 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:49 pm

RD,

Several Councilors changed their mind, from the prior week,and I am not sure any of them spoke out at the meeting in favor of moving the warrent article on the library land to the voters, with the potential for a Courthouse.

THe Bowling alley makes a good deal of sense. However, this would not work. The State seem to be pretty stingy that they may want to build a new courthouse, and the Town MUST donate land for them to built their courthouse. Presently they pay rent to Merrimack, and it sounds as though if they built a new courthouse in Merrimack, they would no longer be paying rent.
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Postby Ann Goldman » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:21 pm

Jamie MacFarland wrote:RD,

Several Councilors changed their mind, from the prior week,and I am not sure any of them spoke out at the meeting in favor of moving the warrent article on the library land to the voters, with the potential for a Courthouse.

THe Bowling alley makes a good deal of sense. However, this would not work. The State seem to be pretty stingy that they may want to build a new courthouse, and the Town MUST donate land for them to built their courthouse. Presently they pay rent to Merrimack, and it sounds as though if they built a new courthouse in Merrimack, they would no longer be paying rent.


Jamie,
If the State did get land donated to them and they built the courthouse, would Merrimack be able to tax the property?
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Postby Nat Fairbanks » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:50 pm

Ann Goldman wrote:If the State did get land donated to them and they built the courthouse, would Merrimack be able to tax the property?


http://merrimackforum.org/phpBB2/viewto ... 0308#70308

No, Merrimack would not be able to tax the courthouse property if the state owned it.

It appears the state is extorting the town in this case - dangling the promise of building a courthouse in town over our heads, but only if we donate the land for it to be built on. However the carrot doesn't appear to be that enticing when you evaluate the choices.

Currently we are earning ~$25,000 annually in rent (from memory, may be wrong) on the "old" courthouse, and saving another $65,000 or so in police overtime (from my understanding of the estimate voiced at the latest Town Council meeting). In order to use round numbers I'll place a value of $100,000 annually on having the current courthouse in town.

If we donate the land the town will no longer earn rent on the new courthouse, and also lose the possibility of having that property generate tax revenue in the future should the property return to the tax rolls. So all we'll be saving is $65,000 in projected annual overtime costs. In return the state will get a piece of property worth much more than that. Undeveloped land along the corridors in Merrimack that would be suitable for a courthouse is worth substantially more that a simple residential buildable lot. I would guess that any land the town, school or MVD owns that is suitable for a courthouse would be worth at least $500,000 on the open market, if not more at some point in near future depending on exact location. That land could be sold, begin generating property tax revenue to the tune of $15,000 or more once developed and the initial capital invested to cover the overtime costs of the police department related to traveling to court in perpetuity. Merrimack would then remain in control of our own destiny and not bow down to the wishes of the state.

If the state really wants to build a courthouse in town let them do it the right way, buy the land on their own and build it on their own. If we donate the land what makes us think the state won't decide to also demand some of the construction costs, or decide in the future to move the courthouse out of town anyways?

The deal the state is offering is not worth it. Either they come up with something worthwhile, or they can go somewhere else. I believe several people have suggested the removal of the toll booths. Sounds like a great idea to bring to the negotiating table.

-Nat
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Postby mmoy » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:32 pm

Financially, it sounds like the best deal for Merrimack would be to just stay put. Worst case for Merrimack would be if they built a courthouse in Litchfield as that would maximize travel time.
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