By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – The recent decision by the Board of Selectmen to reject a bid for the town-owned Spurr House and instead slate it for demolition has not gone over well with a number of townspeople. Since the decision was announced the board had rejected the bid, which was the only one received, commentary on social media has been extremely negative with many accusing the officials of not trying to properly sell the house but instead “pulling a fast one” so that the building could be taken down so that a parking lot could be built in that space.
For years the town’s American Legion Stowell-Parker Post 163 met at the house located at 7 Parkman St. until they moved out in 2014. Since that time, the selectmen have sought to sell the building, with a five-member committee appointed at the 2015 Town Meeting to help with the process.
According to Town Manager Jim Malloy, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was put out at least three times by the town as they sought a buyer. As required by state law, a listing was also placed in the Central Register which according to www.mass.gov is the “weekly source for information about state, county and municipal contracts being put out to bid for the design, construction and reconstruction of public facilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Malloy added that a letter was twice also sent to local Realtors regarding the property; only one responded with any interest. The listing was also posted on the town’s website.
As is turns out, Malloy ended up recusing himself from the process last fall after his son decided to submit a bid of $115,000 on the property. That was the only bid submitted but it was rejected by the selectmen as too low since the property was appraised at $250,000.
The Historical Commission will be discussing the proposed demolition request at its meeting Monday Feb. 12 at the Westborough Public Library, 90 W. Main St., at 7 p.m. The Commission, under the town’s demolition bylaw, can vote to grant the demolition permit or they can vote to delay the demolition for 180 days while they seek alternatives to demolition. All are welcome to attend this meeting.