Selectmen agree to try again to sell the Spurr House

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By Bonnie Adams

Managing Editor

The Spurr House
File photo/Bonnie Adams

Westborough – The home located at 7 Parkman St. has been given yet another reprieve from a possible wrecking ball after the Westborough Board of Selectmen agreed on Feb. 27 to withdraw a request for a demolition permit and instead try to sell the property.

Town officials had attempted to sell the property, known as the Spurr House, for some time. But after only one bid was received, which was under the assessed value, they chose to instead try to get approval for a demolition permit. In doing so, they hoped to then build a parking lot on the space, which they said was needed to accommodate the busy downtown.

But the decision to apply for the permit was met with dismay and anger by many of the town’s residents. At a public hearing held by the Historical Commission on Feb. 12, residents beseeched the commission, who had the authority to either grant the permit or issue a delay, to not approve the request.

Residents at that hearing said that due diligence had not been done and that town officials had not made enough of an effort to sell – and thus save – the circa 1850s home.

At the Feb. 27 BOS meeting, officials disputed that charge, noting that they had followed proper protocol. At the same time, they conceded that it was important to listen to the residents and try different strategies. Two of those will be putting a “For Sale” sign on the lawn of the property and advertising the sale on billboards on Route 9.

Selectman George Barrette asked the board to approve two articles for the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting that will be held Saturday, March 17. Article 41 will ask the voters to approve a measure that would allow the selectmen to attempt to sell the property. Article 42 will ask that the voters rescind the application for the demolition permit and instead create a new “Spurr House Preparation and Sale Committee.” That committee would be composed of two Parkman Street neighbors, one member each from the Planning Board and Finance Committee and one member appointed by the Town Moderator.

The TM will start at March 17 at 1 p.m. at Westborough High School, 90 West Main St.