More news from Tuesday’s meeting of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen. As discussed with Mayor Ted Gatsas on the air yesterday, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is leaving hits South Manchester Headquarters on Pine Island Pond and moving its two hundred fifty jobs to the old Numerica building at the corner of Bridge and Elm streets. In order to facilitate the plan, the city was asked to sell its rights to an easement it held on sixty eight parking spaces in the garage along Kosciuszko Street. Gatsas negotiated a deal in which the city would be paid two hundred thousand dollars up front, collecting another three hundred ten thousand dollars plus five percent interest over the next five years. That raised howls of protest from Aldermen at Large Dan O’Neil and Joe Kelly Levasseur. O’Neil, who ultimately voted in favor of the project, complained that the board wasn’t in the loop and stated that parking concerns might cause Apple Therapy to leave the downtown. He was also somehow of the opinion that two hundred fifty new people working in the building would negatively impact business at the Wild Rover. Levasseur opposed the deal suggesting the city could have gotten a higher price. Gatsas said things came to his attention and to a head quickly and that the board received the information dated July 29th with its agenda on August 1st and intimated that O’Neil hadn’t returned phone calls made to inform him of what was coming. Ward 12 Alderman and mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold opposed the deal beating a familiar refrain about process and stating the city had no plan to handle those, like his wife who works at the Bridge Cafe, who’d lose their parking spots as a result of the deal. That caused Gatsas to ask Arnold what his plan was to handle those displaced by the Pearl Street Parking Lot development he supported. Ouch! Parking Manager Denise Boutillier did say there wasn’t a plan to handle displaced parkers per se, but also stated all leases in the lot were month to month and that there was sufficient capacity in the Victory Garage just two blocks away to relocate those displaced and said her office would work with those affected. The property owner pledged to work with neighboring businesses that might be affected by the loss of parking. The owner noted another tenant that would occupy another ten thousand square feet was on the way in, necessitating the use of all sixty eight spaces. In other business, the board approved the re-re-establishment of the city’s economic development office as an independent department. Seems the big discussion ended up being over who was going to clean the office up. Apparently, it’s a mess.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester’s Recreation Enterprise has announced the closure dates for the city’s pools. Dupont Pool on the city’s West Side will be the first to close. It’s done this Sunday. Hunt, Raco Theodore and Livingston pools will remain open until Sunday of next week, as will Crystal Lake. Effective this Sunday, the pools will be open just from quarter of one to quarter of five during the day and from quarter of six to seven thirty at night. Crystal Lake will be open from 10 to 7. Do they still call that place Welfare Beach?
Mayor Ted Gatsas announced that city’s proposed one point eight million dollar photovoltaic project at the old dump on Dunbarton Road just might get funding from the state. It was one of three dozen projects under consideration for state funds and has made it through the initial rounds of cuts. It is one of a dozen finalists. Gatsas proposed establishing a solar panel farm on Mount Manchester, yes, that’s what they call the old dump now, Mount Manchester, to generate electricity for the city.
Speaking of Dunbarton Road, the ground breaking for the thirty five million dollar Job Corps building has been scheduled for one o’clock on August twentieth.
Looks like the relationship between the city of Manchester and the International Institute of New Hampshire is headed for more trouble. In a July 30th letter to the group, Mayor Ted Gatsas said their F Y two thousand fourteen abstract directly contradicts their agreement to alleviate the burden on the city by adding new communities to their resettlement program. The abstract indicates the new communities will add to the number of refugees brought to the state, which was not only not the plan, but will unacceptably increase the work load of case workers from fifty five per worker to seventy five. He also said various agreements with the city haven’t been honored and that he is inaccurately characterized as quote un quote neutral on additional resettlements. He called on them to honor their agreement and reduce the number of refugees coming to the city.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away.