By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH – A more than 40-year-old agreement will give the town of Northborough the option to take back the Old Town Hall at 4 West Main St. beginning in May of next year, town officials say.
“As we’ve said many times publicly, that would be our intention,” Town Administrator John Coderre said during an Oct. 18 Board of Selectmen meeting. “It’s the question of what do we do with it once we take it back — is it surplussed or are we going to use it for municipal purposes.”
The building remains occupied by a handful of private business tenants.
The conversation was raised by Selectman Julianne Hirsh, who is one of the members of Northborough’s Master Plan Implementation Committee.
She said one of their first duties is gathering information to have the most current materials in the master plan itself.
“One of the things that we will need is information about 4 West Main St.,” Hirsh said.
According to a 2006 Telegram & Gazette article, the building was Northborough’s Town Hall from 1868 to 1978. In the 1980s, Town Meeting allowed a developer to buy the building under the condition that he renovated it.
The Old Town Hall burned to the ground in 1985 while it was being renovated.
According to the article, under the agreement, Northborough could buy the property back in 2022 for $10,000.
The question of how the building would be used is the subject of a feasibility study, which Coderre said Northborough is in the process of working on.
“Obviously, the primary thing that we’re looking at is the potential of moving Town Hall over into that location,” Coderre said. “That’s one of the primary options.”
Northborough’s current Town Hall is located down the street at 63 Main St.
“Before May, when we have to sign off on taking it back or not, will we as a body be able to see the condition of the building inside?” Hirsh asked.
“At some point, absolutely,” Coderre said.
He said he and staff had been inside the building.
“It’s not our building to just go into,” Coderre said, though.
He said the town is trying to work with the building’s current lessee so that its architects and engineers can assess it.