EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

September 25, 2013

Kingston selectmen to decide fate of house next week

KINGSTON— The Grace Daley House may be down to its last life.

After many efforts to prevent the historic building from being demolished, selectmen will have the final say next week on whether it will survive the winter.

“We want to hear from people on both sides of the issue,” Selectman George Korn said. “Based on what we hear, we want to do our best to comply with what the people want.”

In March, Town Meeting voters refused to pay $150,000 to repair the building and gave the town permission to raze it. The building has sat on Main Street since 1834.

But since that vote, the Heritage Commission, Historic District Commission and Historical Museum Task Force have been trying to convince selectmen to preserve the building. Representatives from the organizations spoke to selectmen at their meeting Monday.

“We want to develop a plan which will save the building with no cost to the town,” said Debbie Powers, chairman of the Kingston Heritage Commission. “We want to present an alternative to put on the warrant at Town Meeting.”

Virginia Morse, chairman of the Kingston Historic District Commission, said she is working with New Hampshire Division of Historic Resources to determine what can be done to save it.

“They suggested a feasibility study,” she said. “They can help fund at least some of it.”

But there are other ways to find money as well.

Morse said there are 47 grants that the town could be eligible for, which would help preserving the building.

Korn said he and Selectman Peter Broderick listened to the presentations made by the groups and will wait until Selectmen’s Chairman Mark Heitz returns next week before making any decisions.

But Korn said he has yet to decide which way he is leaning.

“My position has to be what the townspeople want to have happen,” he said. “We had two warrants which passed last year, but I need to determine what I feel the townspeople want.”

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