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Town turnaround on house buy

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO The entrance to the house directly next to Town Hall on North Ferry Road.
The entrance to the house directly next to Town Hall on North Ferry Road.

Tenants at 40 North Ferry Road, the house adjacent to Town Hall, have been assured that despite the pending purchase of the property by the town, they will not be displaced.

That’s a turnaround from what tenants were expecting after learning of the purchase earlier this month and plans voiced by town officials that the house would be used for expanded office space for town workers.

Wednesday morning, Supervisor Gary Gerth told the Reporter those plans were off. The immediate need now, he said, is for more parking space for town workers and those visiting Town Hall.

Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. will have his crew remove bushes separating the two properties to create parking in the backyard.

Existing rental units in the house have been brought up to code and tenants have been told they can stay, Mr. Gerth said.

While space is a bit tight in Town Hall, there’s not an immediate need for additional offices, the supervisor said. But the need to get more parking and remove cars from the street is critical at the moment for safety reasons, the supervisor said.

The purchase price, negotiated by Mr. Gerth with approval from the Town Board, is in the range of $710,000 for the 2,900 square foot multi-family house that sits on a three quarters of an acre lot. Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. confirmed Wednesday morning he’s in the process of drafting the contract for the acquisition.

When the plan to acquire the property was made public earlier this month, Mr. Gerth said the town didn’t have the money to do the necessary renovations in Town Hall that would accompany office space needs. Councilman Paul Shepherd at the time said the money for the purchase would not be coming from the town’s reserves.