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Hudson City Council moves forward with YDC demolition

By Mary Ann Ferguson-Rich Published: December 5, 2012
Hudson Town Hall. City Council has decided to move forward with the demolition of buildings on the former Youth Development Center property. (M.A. Ferguson-Rich/ file)

HUDSON: City Council approved a motion to declare its intention to demolish all buildings located on the former Youth Development Center property on Hines Hill Road at its meeting on Wednesday.

Council member Hal DeSaussure was the sole vote against the motion.

His reasoning was that a "statement of intent" was superfluous, unnecessary and not binding on city council.

DeSaussure said "we take action by spending money to do things."  He added that council needs to "put their money where their mouth is" and award a contract for the demolition.

Council President David Basil and several other council members disagreed.

Basil considers the YDC property a "catalyst for economic development" and said the motion was necessary to "properly facilitate the repurposing" of the southern portion of the property, which contains approximately 135 acres.

The terms of the original purchase agreement required that the property be used for public purpose for a period of five years. 

In two years, that requirement will end and the 135 acres could be sold for commercial development.

The northern portion of the property will be reserved for conservation and public purposes.

Council also passed legislation empowering the city manager to begin the process of advertising for competitive bids for the building demolition. The new legislation suspends the requirement of three readings of the demolition issue.

Basil opposed this legislation as being "premature," as they are still awaiting a pre-demolition report from the engineering department.

Council member J. Daniel Williams disagreed, stating that the legislation was only instructing the administration to begin the process and not requiring that any action be taken before the report was received.

Williams felt that doing three readings of the legislation would delay the bidding process and said council has been advised that winter is often the best time to obtain financially advantageous bids.

Mayor William Currin commented that three readings gives residents more time for public comment on a major expenditure.