Chatham Selectmen to Appoint Committee to Discuss Eldredge Property Uses

CHATHAM – A committee will soon be appointed in Chatham to develop ideas for possible uses of the former Eldredge Garage property.

Selectmen agreed to move forward with the purchase of the parcel in August after $2.5 million was approved overwhelmingly at Town Meeting in January.

A purchase and sale agreement is expected this week.

The board will select 9 members, including two selectmen and seven others representatives from the Community.

“I guess we would approach it as we do with any other type of committee,” said Dean Nicastro, a selectman who will serve on the committee. “We would invite applications, interview people and make appointments to it.”

Selectman Amanda Love, who could not attend the recent meeting, sent a letter to her colleagues which stated she favors including a representative from the Old Village Association, a downtown business leader, and residents from outside of the downtown vicinity.

“I pretty much said for a very long time that this should be an ad hoc committee that oversees a concept that represents all of the people including the stakeholders, the neighborhood and the downtown merchants,” said Shareen Davis, the other selectmen on the committee.

Davis said she would also like to reach out to the economic development committee to receive input on the property to have a balance between preservation and commerce.

The land will most likely be used for parking and open space conservation.

It also provides the town an opportunity to create workforce housing or other recreational uses.

A group of citizens and businesses facilitated the deal for the town to purchase the land from the Eldredge family.

Environmental testing on the site was conducted during the winter as the property once housed a gas and service station.

A barn on the property was torn down earlier this year, which was a condition of the purchase by the town.

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