Thursday, October 30, 2008

Littleton Series - Part II The LDIC

Part II in a Series
Parts [I] [II] [III] [IV] [V]

King Covey
The first task that LIDC faced was the need to raise $15,000 to do an engineering and feasibility study for the industrial park. They sought the funds for the study through an appropriation at town meeting.

Town meeting was held in those days at the Littleton Opera House and was broadcast to the community by a local radio station. “We knew we were in trouble right from the start”, says McGoldrick. “The selectmen were all opposed, as were most of the others at the meeting. We gave our presentation and urged folks in the community to support this to improve the number and quality of jobs but the tide was against us. We lost the voice vote. Then we lost the “standing” vote. King Covey moved for a secret ballot and after a long discussion, the moderator, Gerald Winn, declared that there would be a secret ballot and the voting would be open for one hour.” It was at that point that something very magical happened. All over town, people who had been listening on their radios put coats on over the pajamas or donned their clothes and walked and drove to the town hall to cast their vote for change. According to McGoldrick, “We won by one vote.”

Since that time, the road has not been an easy one. There were town meetings when an impatient citizenry scolded the members of the LIDC for the lack of activity but, like the “Little Engine That Could”, these community leaders never gave up and continued to chug away. Today, with a lot of help from the town; state and federal agencies; the Northern Community Investment Corporation; as well as boosting and arm-twisting from Executive Council Raymond Burton and Senator Judd Gregg; sixteen businesses dot the landscape of the Littleton Industrial Park bringing in more than $500,000 of property tax revenue per year and employing more than one thousand people.

Meanwhile, on Main Street local entrepreneurs Ned Densmore and Joel Bedor purchased a lot that had been the site of two buildings destroyed by fire, near the historic Thayer’s Inn. Their vision would eventually become one of the finest bookstores in New Hampshire and a catalyst for further business development on Main St. People were taking their fate into their own hands and there was a sense that Littleton was moving.

Parts [I] [II] [III] [IV] [V]

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