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June 11, 2024

Manchester approves plan to buy Webster Bank property

Google The Webster Bank at 1041 Main St., Manchester.

Manchester town officials have approved plans to acquire two of three properties needed to build a new, 70,000-square-foot library downtown, which has been a high-profile effort in Silk City for several years.

The Manchester Board of Directors last week unanimously approved a plan to purchase 1041 Main St. and 22 Maple St. from Webster Bank, which currently occupies the properties, for $1.6 million. According to town attorneys, that price has already been negotiated and agreed upon by town and Webster Bank officials.

And Webster isn’t going anywhere, the town said. Webster officials are scheduled to close on a new downtown property at 1007/1011 Main St., across the street from its existing storefront, this summer to keep the branch in the area.

The Board of Directors tabled a plan to acquire the third property needed for the planned library, 25 Eldridge St., which is a much less conventional exchange. For that property, the town would agree to essentially trade a town-owned, 3.12-acre vacant parcel at 601 Lydall St., to Darrell J. Lupacchino for the 25 
Eldridge St. property, which he owns.

Mayor Jay Moran said town officials needed more information on the land exchange before approving it, so he asked the board to table the measure.

Lupacchino owns and operates a farm and residence at 555 Lydall St., according to information from the town, so he was interested in exchanging his downtown parcel for this abutting property. Both properties were professionally appraised at similar value — $45,000 for 25 Eldridge St. and $40,000 for 601 Lydall St., so town officials drew up a contract for the land exchange.

The property was going to be used as a parking lot for the new library, according to town plans.

In a previous meeting, Manchester’s Planning and Zoning Commission sent both acquisition plans to the Board of Directors with favorable recommendations, but voted to table any decision on 601 Lydall St.’s conveyance.

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