WRJ Parking

Last night at the select board meeting several business owners described the problems that have surfaced in WRJ because of the closing of the lot across from the Briggs building.

The selectboard explained why they had not purchased the property and stated that the lease offered by the new owner was too much in comparison to what they had been paying the railroad.

Then David Briggs got up and explained that the lease the downtown development committee had brought to the selectboard was fair and represented a break-even proposition for the new owner, and to the extent the town was paying more it mostly boiled down to the new owner’s cost of capital being higher than the cost of capital to the town.

What I got out of his statement is this: the selectboard has balked at a lease because the 18,000 is so much higher than the 2,500 that had been being paid. However, that is the WRONG EQUATION to look at.

The correct equation is more like:

5000 instead of 2500 because the railroad had set that to be the new amount just before they sold the property, so the rent was doubling

Plus additional costs of maintenance, insurance and so forth which the town was spending that amounted to another 4K – 5K annually that would now be the responsibility of the owner not the town

Plus the cost of amortizing the purchase

Dave suggested the real difference in cost between the town owning and not owning the lot wasn’t the difference between 18K and 2.5K — 15,500 dollars — but instead more like 9,000 dollars.

Not sure I have this exactly right, but this is an important aspect of the story. $16,000 sounds like a hold up. $9,000 for around 45 parking spaces sounds like we need to make $200 a spot each year, or $1 per space for 40 workweeks (40 x 5 = 200).

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


Not saying that you are incorrect with any of your statements but could you provide some proof to it? PDF documents or something akin to that, I’m assuming that since you are blogging about it there should be no issue providing detailed records. All the best.

I apologize for missing this comment last month. Subsequent events have overtaken this situation — the town has purchased the parking lot and surrounding area. Unerstand I was reporting what I heard at the selectboard and was then offering a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the true cost of acquisition. I wasn’t offering a legal brief with documentation. I simply trusted the information being provided by speakers at the meeting — selectboard members and members of the public — information that was internally consistent. My point was that the selectboard wasn’t doing a full cost analysis, e.g., it was not taking into account revenue streams. In any event, for whatever reason, minds changed and a deal was made.

Leave a comment