To the Editor,
Of course, we need more affordable housing, but Article 6 is asking voters to give almost 7 acres of Town owned land to a developer for a reduced or no cost for the construction of 30 to 50 market rate rental units, not affordable housing.
In my opinion Article 6 is premature and an abuse of the voter’s legislative power and purpose. To be fair, the idea being purported is that a potential developer will need the Pleasant Street land at a reduced or no cost to make a future project financially feasible. However, there are too many questions that need to be discussed before even a non-binding Article goes forward at town meeting.
Here are a few… What is the DPW site worth? In turn, how much potential revenue are we giving away? What other purposes could the DPW be use for? (Playing fields, senior center, or fire/safety building) If this last piece of precious land is given away to a private developer what options does the town have for providing residents with future municipal needs.
Is the soil contaminated? Why move the site?
The DPW facility has been identified as the town facility in most need of repair. Therefore, if this building is in such dire need--why are we playing a game of chess and not taking measures to own the problem in front of us. To this end how much will it cost to renovate the DPW site at its current location versus moving the DPW site to a new location and build new? In the end the taxpayer is going to open their wallets and see the increase in our tax bill. I don’t know about the rest of Manchester, but before I vote on a project of this magnitude, I want to understand the environmental, financial and safety impact of such a development.
Christina Delisio, Manchester