Former truck stop

A vacant lot at 21 Pond View Ave., Amesbury, that is now owned by the city.

AMESBURY — The mayor is putting out a call for six volunteers to help decide the fate of the former Trader Alan’s truck stop.

The former truck stop at 21 Pond View Ave. is just off Route 150 and next to a solar field on South Hunt Road.

The 7.7-acre parcel of commercially zoned land was bought by the city from Thelma Titcomb for $1 in December 2001 and through another $1 transaction in January 2002. Titcomb bought the property from the estate of John J. Ryan for $533,385 in February 1998.

The property was last assessed at $177,500 and is being used for Public Works Department storage.

Although the property has been underutilized over the past two decades, it is close to the new 100-unit Village at Bailey’s Pond condominium development and the Maples Crossing sports complex under construction on South Hunt Road.

The city designated the property as surplus last year and Mayor Kassandra Gove said during a Facebook Live appearance Thursday that she would like it be used more productively.

“If you drive by it now, you will see a lot of barricades and piles of dirt and other construction debris,” Gove said.

The mayor said she is looking for a six-member, volunteer disposition committee to decide what happens to the one-time truck stop.

Gove said she intends for the committee to be composed of abutters and would like to see someone with real estate and development experience, as well as an attorney.

“If you are interested in helping work through this process with us, to talk about what we can do with this property, what its highest and best use is, how it would best serve the neighborhood and our community, then we would love for you to apply,” Gove said.

Anyone interested can email Director of Community and Economic Development Angela Cleveland at clevelanda@amesburyma.gov to explain why they are interested and send a resume.

The mayor also gave an update on the city’s financial situation Thursday and said the free cash account was certified at just over $1.9 million for fiscal 2021.

“This is really exciting for us,” she said. “This is the second-highest amount we have seen in over 10 years. It is really going to help us restore some of our reserve funds, which had gotten quite low.”

Gove said the city saw higher cannabis retail excise tax revenue from Alternative Therapies Group Inc. and CNA Stores than expected.

“We have two great retail businesses in town and they just opened right after the pandemic really hit,” Gove said. “We didn’t know what to expect and we were very conservative in our budgeting. Collectively, the two of them have contributed over $600,000 to last year’s budget and that really did roll into that free cash amount.”

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story corrects the spelling of Trader Alan's Truck Stop, which was incorrect in an earlier version.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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