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Land purchase stumbling block to new Nishihara town office

Date Posted: 2009-06-25

The antiquated Nishihara Town Office building is in danger of collapsing, the town has funding to build a new facility, and residents and town officials are excited.

There’s one problem, though; some landowners at the designated site for a new town office are refusing to sell their property to Nishihara Town. The 40-year-old town office is decrepit, and discussions on a new facility have been going on since 1985. Some residents wanted to tear down the existing building and construct a new town office on the same site, but others wanted it consolidated near a central community center area.

The 2008 election of Akira Uema as mayor brought closure to the question of where to build. Uema campaigned with a promise to build the new town office as a multiple facility in the public center. With that in place, Uema went after money.

The ¥3.2 billion construction budget will be subsidized to the tune of ¥560 million, leaving Nishihara Town to fund only ¥627 million. The rest of the money will come from sale of town-owned lands and bond issues. The only remaining problem is convincing land owners to sell to the town.

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