October 15. 2012 9:48PM

Londonderry dog park committee hits obstacle

Union Leader Correspondent

LONDONDERRY — Members of the Londonderry Dog Park Study Committee are hoping the town might throw them a bone as they search for the perfect site for a new dog park.

Last month, members voted in favor of pursuing a parcel of town-owned land on Sanborn Road.

During the Oct. 1 town council meeting, however, councilors said they needed to offer their support to the town’s senior citizens, many of whom have been on a waiting list for a yet-to-be-built senior apartment complex on the same property.

The town’s Elder Affairs Committee has eyed the former salvage yard several times in recent years. Last year, the committee had hoped to work with Southern New Hampshire Services to build a senior housing complex on that site, but members changed their mind after a spring 2011 property assessment revealed traces of arsenic and magnesium in the soil.

In February, SNHS decided to instead pursue federal Section 202 funding for an alternate site on Smith Lane, but that application was denied.

Elder Affairs Committee Chairman Stacy Thrall said a previous town council had already committed the land for future use as affordable senior apartments. Members stressed they’re still interested in keeping their options open, althrough Thrall admitted it could take a year or longer to find a willing developer and conduct further testing on the site.

Council Chairman John Farrell said the council would do its best to work with seniors in making the housing complex a reality.

During Monday night’s town council meeting, Grover said the council’s decision means it’s back to the drawing board for the Dog Park Study Committee.

Councilor Tom Dolan noted that the town continues to own land at Auburn Road, a former landfill that is now a federal Superfund site.

Grover said the option is definitely worth considering.