AUBURN — Councilors will give residents until July 5 to come up with alternate names for a small parcel of New Auburn land.

But Councilor Belinda Gerry reiterated her call to name the plot at 8 South Main St., between Rolly’s Diner and the Little Androscoggin River, Sullivan Park in honor of former shop owners.

“The Sullivans were good people who worked hard for the people in their community,” Gerry said. “They demonstrated on a near daily basis that they really cared about others, the welfare of their neighbors and the community without the thought of repayment.”

According to city naming policy, the council takes nominations to name public spaces, then selects one name. Residents can submit their suggestions to the City Clerk’s office.

Gerry has been pushing to name the spot in honor of Dennis J. “Dinny” Sullivan and his son John J. Sullivan, who owned a variety store on that spot for years.

Dennis Sullivan was born in Schull, County Cork, Ireland in 1873 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1899, settling in Auburn. He opened his grocery store at 12 South Main St. in New Auburn in about 1911. Today, it’s a grassy area behind Rolly’s Diner.

He died in 1957, leaving his store to his son, John J. Sullivan.

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