Ted Siefer's City Hall: Questions arise over sale, other options for old police station
This is what Ward 7's Bill Shea was wondering at Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen following the revelation that the Massachusetts developer who had signed a tentative purchase agreement for the building had bowed out.
The building has been vacant since December 2012, when the police moved into their shiny new headquarters at the Municipal Complex.
He had, Craig said.
"If there's a letter with a counter-offer, I want to know if there was a discussion," Levasseur said. "There are not a lot of buyers out there for this building."
At the meeting, Gatsas said he would be happy to discuss the finer points of the interaction with Grossman but only in non-public session since the building was still on the market.
Speaking of low-ball deals for city properties, remember the Massachusetts developer who wanted to build a student housing tower at the site of the Pearl Street parking lot? Word is the developer, James Vitas, might be interested in again approaching the city with a proposal. And this time he might have a well-connected ally: Patrick Arnold, the former Ward 12 alderman who gave up his seat to run for mayor last year.
Mayor Gatsas is generally not one to wait until the last minute, especially when it comes to budgets. Last year, he made a point of presenting his budget as early in the year as possible, so the aldermen could get a jump on reviewing the spending plans, particularly the one for the school district.
Gatsas said his reason for holding off this time was simple. "Last time, the budget just sat there. Getting it in early didn't get the budget out early," he said.
Every aldermen's meeting has its share of shout-outs, whether it's the mayor recognizing a generous donor to a city cause or an alderman calling attention to the accomplishments of students in his or her ward.
Gatsas has had a tense relationship with members of the previous Hooksett school board, and he has at times struck a defiant tone in the face of complaints about city schools. But he said he was ready to turn over a new leaf.
And referring to Central High's victory in the NHIAA Hockey Championship last week, Gatsas noted, "I think the winning goal was scored by someone from Hooksett."
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @tbsreporter.
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