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August 06. 2014 9:27PM

Exit 4A talk has cost Derry $1.7m

DERRY — Over the past 30 years, the Exit 4A project has cost the Town of Derry $1,749,221, according to Council Chairman Mark Osborne.

Osborne, who had been doing research on “missing” documents related to project, gave the figure to council members at their Tuesday night meeting.

And the missing documents that vanished in 2007, according to Londonderry Town Councilor John Farrell, were never lost, according to Osbourne.

Osborne said he recently made the discovery after thoroughly researching the approximately 30-year history of the Exit 4A project.

“As far as my research goes there is no evidence that I found that files or papers were ever lost, stolen, burned or befell some other nefarious fortune,” Osborne said. He said he carefully looked through boxes and piles of documents that included memorandum, legal opinions, letters, hearings and minutes.

Osborne said the research showed that the town “never signed a contract, never signed a settlement agreement” with Londonderry and Boston North, a developer that owned land where the project would be built.

But during the last 30 years, the town has acted as a “party, partner and participant to the 4A project,” he said.

During a council meeting last month, State Sen. James Rausch and Farrell said the documents had been lost years ago.

Rausch and Farrell spoke during a presentation on July 15 by the state Department of Transportation on the Interstate 93 widening project. Rausch raised the issue of the lost records during a sometimes contentious discussion on Exit 4A and how much money Derry would owe for construction costs. Rausch said Derry had lost the records.

As for what Derry would owe on the project, he and Rausch said the Town’s costs were capped at $5 million.

The town must determine if it is legally bound to contribute the entire $5 million to the project.

The town also needs to determine whether Exit 4A is good for Derry, Osborne said.

The town will consult with its attorney soon to decide what course to take on Exit 4A. Regardless of the decision, Osborne said the council will deliver a definitive response.

hmcgee@newstote.com


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