A few months ago I was driving west on Rt. 2. As one worked their way around the Concord rotary there was a huge sign up on the hill announcing the sale of some publicly owned land. For the months and months that the town of Westborough, under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, was ostensibly trying to sell the Spurr House located at 7 Parkman, I wondered why a for sale sign similar to the one seen from Rt. 2 was not also prominently placed in the front yard. Would it not be advantageous to an eventual sale of this property to have the 1,000s of library patrons or other passersby see that it was for sale?
The decision on the part of the Board of Selectmen to reject the $115,000 bid makes more sense when you take the quote from Selectmen Drewry about his belief that what it needed, more than the revenue from the bid to purchase the property, is more parking. What will come with the rejected bid will be the cost of demolition born by the town. The last house paid to have torn down to make way for the Hastings expansion cost $50,000. There will then be the cost of creating the parking lot, plowing the new lot and maintaining it over the years.
The decision to not take $115,000 and thereby end up with a renovated home keeping in the character of the downtown and the viability of the neighborhood should be considered. The decision to pave over even more of Westborough and trigger even more heat island effect and induced demand is short-sighted. If parking at the Forbes is as desperately needed as claimed maybe some of the police officers could park at the Fire Department and take the short walk to work before they begin their shifts. The town needs to think about the ways to encourage higher density living and less car traffic and the sales versus demolition of the Spurr House is a way to do both. I hope that those vying for contested seats in the upcoming Board of Selectmen race will consider that there are residents who would love to see this home saved, while at the same time, savings the taxpayers no small amount of money.