Aldermen’s meeting round-up: Downtown concerns, Derryfield decision and more

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
A slide from the March 20, 2018 Board of Aldermen meeting

MANCHESTER, NH – The Mayor and Board of Aldermen spent most of their meeting on Tuesday night discussing a motion to confirm Matthew Sink to the Zoning Board of Adjustments. However, that wasn’t the only thing on the docket.

Here’s a roundup of some other items they discussed.

Update on core values initiative

Following a public forum dominated by students and residents urging the Aldermen to find funding for the Central High School music program, the Aldermen received an update from the core values workgroup.

Established last year, the core values initiative approved by the Aldermen directed city agencies to find 24 employees embodying what was described as the “Manchester Spirit” in attempt to bolster offerings for city residents

SPIRIT is an acronym for the values targeted for improvement within the program: service, pride, integrity, respect, initiative and teamwork.

The update culminated with a video produced for free by Benjamin Lustig, a Manchester resident and current student at Southern New Hampshire University.

Derryfield decision and other land and building updates

A proposed amendment to allow keno at the Derryfield Restaurant was approved, with the understanding that any revenue from keno not going to the state will be added to revenues shared with the city government.

Derryfield also offered $1,000 toward the city’s summer reading program.

The Aldermen also approved a request to rename the locker rooms at JFK Coliseum after late Trinity hockey coach Brian Stone, allowing Southern New Hampshire University to access the Transportation Center on Canal Street, and finalizing purchase and sale agreements for 504 Candia Road and 327 Silver Street.

Mayor Joyce Craig requested a delay on the purchase of land in Londonderry adjacent to the airport due to the fact that it was not a time sensitive matter and it had not yet received public scrutiny during a first hearing.

Downtown Concerns

Ward 3 Alderman Tim Baines shared an update on his recent roundtable of local businesses as well as the news that his restaurant on Elm Street had been victimized by burglary in broad daylight.

Baines said other downtown business owners shared his fears, fueled largely by the ongoing opioid crisis.

Additionally, he criticized some organizations for not doing enough to help those with opioid addition, leading to additional vagrancy in the downtown area.

In response to a question by At-large Alderman Joe Kelly Levasseur, Baines indicated that there had been positive responses at the meeting, but work needed to be done to maintain all the gains Manchester has made downtown since the 1990s, particularly from nearby communities

Baines also noted that the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks also pose a problem in terms of providing a location for opioid users to congregate as well as dividing Elm Street from the riverfront.

Alderman-at-large Dan O’Neill seconded a motion by Baines to create a working group to study ways to fight the opioid epidemic in Manchester, expanding upon it to spread the initiative to the entire city upon the urging of other aldermen saying the issue addressed neighborhoods throughout Manchester.