Published Date Written by Gail OberBELMONT — Responding through their attorney to a lawsuit filed against them by the former owners of the former Northway Bank building in the village, the town said that 10 months after Will and Carolyn McDonough bought the property they approached the town in an attempt to sell it to the town.
The response filed in Merrimack County Superior Court said the selectmen discussed the offer on December 14, 2009 and that on December 16, 2009 entered into a purchase and sales agreement with them for $275,000 — the same price the couple paid for it in January of 2009.
Voters at annual town meeting defeated the sale (for a second time) by a vote of 311 for and 421 against.
The McDonoughs, who sold the building to the town for less than $250,000 — the exact price has never been publicly disclosed — in late 2012 filed suit against the town saying that the ongoing discussions about the downtown revitalization program and the discussion about discontinuing a portion of Mill Street cost them rental income as well as devalued their property.
As to whether or not the discussions about discontinuing a portion of Mill Street affected the value of the building, Atty. Lauren Spector said the plan called for new access to the property and the overall plan had no effect on the Main Street and Center Street frontage.
Spector added that the town doesn't believe the closing of a small portion of Mill Street devalued the property and the town is getting an expert opinion and will follow up if necessary.
She also said the four or five parking spaces on the old section of Mill Street were to be relocated to the portion of Mill Street that was not closed.
Spector said the sale was the culmination of two different parties trying to sell the property to the town over a five year period.