[Hpn] [Housing NOW] Please stop demolition in Franklin
Wed, 09 Aug 2000 17:29:12 -0400
I personally want to thank you for your write in campaign and phone calls
toFranklin City Hall 1-603-934-3900 .........I believe they are aware they
have angered a lot of people and that they might be seeking a way to save
face and walk away quietly ..Thats the logical rational thing to do here
but..we are dealing with people that discriminated against the poor and
handicapped here so what can we expect?
I would expect that the Governor Jeanne Shaheen should step in and intervene
in these poor persons interests!
Tony I am glad you are there my brother and the other homeless advocates and
activists trust me you are well appreciated for your letters and personal
involvement..Bless you all!
City Managers Office
316 Central Street
William Charles Tinker
25 Granite Street
Northfield,New Hampshire 03276
----- Original Message -----
From: "Anthony Hempfer" <Anthony@HomelessAction.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2000 3:07 PM
Subject: [Housing NOW] Please stop demolition in Franklin
Dear Gov. Shaheen,
I am deeply troubled by the actions taken by the Franklin City Council
towards the low income people of that community. To think that a city would
value a parking lot over housing is a sad commentary about New Hampshire.
While I am not a resident of your state I vacation there often. In many
ways I feel as if its my second home. Sadly I can no longer support your
state or tourist industry due to the actions of one of your cities against
the low income members of their own community.
Please act to stop the demolition of these homes.
Homeless Action for Necessary Development
Providence, Rhode Island
Franklin takes 3 buildings: City asserts
ownership; evicts residents
By GORDON D. KING
FRANKLIN N.H. '· Three Franklin Street apartment
buildings are now owned by the city.
City Manager Donna Nashawaty filed a
declaration of taking with the state Board of
Tax and Land Appeals on Thursday morning, then
immediately registered the city as owner of the
buildings with the Merrimack County Registry of
"As of 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, the city of
Franklin took ownership of the buildings,"
Shortly afterwards, she added, Franklin
police officers served the tenants with
eviction notices, and ordered those working
on renovating the buildings to leave.
The buildings were recently purchased by
Robert Mears of Laconia and Dennis Murphree
of Northfield, pastors of the New Covenant
Fellowship Church in Franklin.
The city planned to take the buildings by
eminent domain in late July but had to delay
the taking because of the sale to Mears and
Murphree by Morgan Krause of Bohemia, N.Y. who
owned them for about the past five years.
The two pastors had expected the taking to take
place today. Rev. Mears said he was surprised
to learn that the city did it a day early.
"The police came and told us we had to leave
and we did," Mears said.
Krause, who has been volunteering his time to
assist with the renovations, said people were
working on the roof and installing siding when
the police arrived.
"We had hammer and nails in hand. The police
sergeant told us to get off the ladder or face
arrest for criminal trespass," Krause said.
The city manager said eight of the apartments
have tenants. There were 23 tenants in the
apartments as of June 21 when the City Council
voted unanimously to take the buildings by
eminent domain. The city plans to demolish them
and make a parking lot, as recommended by the
most recent downtown revitalization study.
Mears said some of the tenants have left so he
does not know exactly how many people still
The buildings are assessed for $148,750. This
is what the city offered Krause for them when
he still owned them. The offer was lowered to
$77,000 after an appraiser said that is all
they are worth. He rejected the offers and was
notified the city planned to take the
Mears and Murphree paid Krause $446,000 for
them. Each put up $15,000 cash towards the
The city manager said Krause holds the
Mears said they did collect some rent but not
much because of the uncertainty of the
"We did do a lot of renovations," Mears said.
The minister said he believes city officials
were annoyed of the move he and Murphree made
by purchasing the buildings.
"Jesus Christ wants those buildings to be used
for people '· low income people," Mears said.
He said he does not think what the city did is
The city rented five of the apartments when
Krause owned the buildings. The city manager
said she did this to prevent the apartments
from being rented out to someone else. If they
were rented to tenants, the city would have to
help locate apartments for them and could be
responsible for deposits and rent. When
criticized by some City Council members because
of this, the city manager said it would cost
the city less to rent the apartments and leave
them empty than it would to have to relocate
tenants. She refused to pay rent to the new
Mears confirmed that the city did not pay rent
to him and Murphree. The city would not let
them into the apartments the city leased to
make any renovations.
The city was taken to Franklin District Court
about this and the court agreed with the city,
saying the only repairs which could be made
were to a leaking pipe.
Police frequently checked the buildings to make
certain no repairs were made to those
Krause said he believes this was a very unusual
use of the police.
"The city used the police to enforce the rights
of tenants. Police typically don't get involved
in tenant/landlord disputes," Krause said.
The former owner said he thinks the city
manager made the move to take the buildings on
Thursday because she was afraid the ownership
might be transferred again. The city manager
said this was not true. The move was made
because the 10 days notice was up.
Krause said he believes the city erred in
taking the buildings because it did not make an
offer to the new owners. The only offer made
was to him, he said.
"The city never made an offer to Bob and
Dennis," Krause said.
Nashawaty said this is not true. The offer was
made to Krause and he rejected it. The city
then had to wait 10 days to take the buildings,
she explained, adding that the notice of taking
would still stand.
The city manager said the $77,000 appraised
value still stands.
"This offer accompanied the declaration of
taking. If they want to dispute it, that's up
to them. Krause still holds the mortgage and
the money goes to him. Mears and Murphree will
have to settle their mortgage with him," she
Tenants were given a 30-day notice to vacate
the buildings. The city manager said the
tenants have to be out by Sept. 4, which is
actually a day more than required.
Tenant John Bell said he does not know what he
"I received my notice today. I supposedly live
in the oldest house in the city. I don't know
where I'm going to go. I expect to ask Sharon
(Steven, the city welfare director) for help,"
City historian Albert Garneau said it has been
determined that one of the buildings was built
by John Webster in 1764. It was moved to the
center of the city sometime in the 1800s and
moved to its present location in the late
The city manager said the city will offer this
building to the Franklin Historical Society but
it must be removed from its Franklin Street
location to make room for the planned parking
© 2000 Geo. J. Foster Co.