Town to buy lot for storage

Council OKs acquiring land for $150,000 for police, public works

January 17, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Hampstead will pay $150,000 for a 1-acre property that will make life easier for its police and public works staff.

The Town Council approved the sales contract last week for the parcel on Shiloh Avenue, behind the new police station on Main Street. Officials expect to settle this month.

"After doing research and a property appraisal, we thought it was a fair price for a commercial property," said Ken Decker, town manager. "The post office paid more than $450,000 for 3 acres on Black Rock Road."

The property, which backs to the railroad tracks, has long been vacant except for an old shed, which the town will tear down.

The Police Department can use the site for its impound lot - storage of seized vehicles, bicycles and other property. Public Works will claim the remaining space for storage. Initial plans call for the town to build a shed.

"This will be a long-term public works project, with the first phase budgeted for storage," Decker said. "We are creating badly needed room."

The public works garage on Gill Avenue is so crowded with vehicles and equipment that "to get one thing in, we have to move five others," Decker said.

The garage houses three dump trucks, a backhoe and other cumbersome equipment that must be protected from the elements and should not be stored with large quantities of road salt, he said.

Plans call for fencing and landscaping the newly acquired lot. Shrubbery would provide a buffer for surrounding residences.

In other action, the town sold the Rinaman Avenue pump house property for $4,500 to Terry Martin, a dance instructor, who plans to build Hampstead School for Fine Arts there.

Sale of the tiny lot will do little to defray the $150,000 purchase of the storage property, but the town is relieved to rid itself of a small parcel it no longer needed, officials said.

"This definitely was an underutilized asset that could be part of the Main Street revitalization area," Decker said.

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