In 2011, the town of Cheshire acquired the Cheshire Inn, taken because its past owner didn't pay taxes owed to the town in the amount of $12,000 or so. Last year, the Selectman asked for proposals for the sale and use of the property by advertising in local media (those adds are very expensive).
Only one legal proposal was made. I proposed to purchase the building and property for $17,500 and to salvage the building (at my expense), meaning I would find a company to come in and tear the building down piece by piece.
My intention after the building is down is to put up two nice buildings. One would house two or more shops, one being a bait & tackle shop catering to locals and tourists also doing fishing charters. Another shop or two would possibly house crafters or office space. My plan includes a garage type building with an area nicely fenced in for my lawn care business, which has for the past eight years been run from my property, making my yard a clutter of equipment due to lack of space to store equipment.
Recently, the Selectman advertised (again, very expensive to place a legal add) to have the old building torn down. Bids for that came in just short of $50,000. The Selectman have decided that they want to demolish the building, that is really in disrepair due to neglect for many, many years, and just hold on to the property with no tax dollars coming at all on the property. It would seem to me that in these economic times, any money generated by taxes would be more than welcome.
On Tuesday night, Feb. 12, the taxpayers will be asked to allocate almost $50,000 from general funds, money that for sure can be used to offset taxes and other needed expenses. If all is said and done, with no tax payment to the town, adding town meeting, demolition and other expenses, I estimate this will cost the taxpayers over $75,000. As I see it, $17,500, minus legal fees, in the bank is much better than an expense of $75,000.
Yes, this purchase is going to benefit me and my business. It gives me some borrowing leverage with lending institutions. It also takes my business out of my neighborhood. It gives me room to expand. It would be at the town's advantage to see that my plan will generate in excess of $3,000 in taxes yearly. I want to set up a business that the taxpayers in Cheshire are proud of, one where they can say we helped this family get going. We have the true meaning of the old-fashioned family run business and we want to keep it in Cheshire.
Please consider all this and come to the town meeting at the Senior Center, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m.