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Town Amends Agreement With Developer of Foundry

Agreement gives the developer another $250,000 toward the demolition and remediation costs for the site with the tax break being reduced from 50 percent to 30.

 

The council authorized Town Manager Barbara Gilbert to sign an amended development agreement with the developer of the Foundry during a .

According to the attorney for the town Morris Borea, the town will provide the developer, Riverfront Future Partners, with another $250,000 toward the demolition and remediation of the site where gray iron castings were once made. The town originally agreed to give the developer a 50 percent tax break over seven years. That break has been reduced to 30 percent over seven years, he added.

"Under the estimates that should be more than the $250(,000)," Borea told Patch after the meeting.

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In September, the council reached an to demolish the old Foundry buildings, settle two pending lawsuits and develop a mixed-use project on the 10-acre piece of property that would include retail and residential space. However, there is still one pending lawsuit against Rocky Hill after the town filed a lawsuit in 2009 to take the Foundry by eminent domain from its owner.

Borea said under the new agreement, the town will "increase the stead," which was going to expire in September, by another year. If the lawsuit "should ever go forward," the $250,000 would be a "credit" for any amount awarded to the developer at the time. 

"We don't know what the future will hold," he said. "Obviously it has not been withdrawn, so there is the potential for it to go forward."

Borea said he is confident the town would win the lawsuit, however the agreement acts "as insurance."

"Either way we will get it back through the taxes or we will protect ourselves in any case," he said.

Mayor Anthony LaRosa made it clear that the money has "been earmarked for Foundry use only" and the town "could not spend it anywhere else." The town had originally agreed to make payments of up to $425,000 toward the demolition and remediation of the Foundry with a large portion of that money coming from the state under funding obtained by former state Rep. Richard Tulisano.

"For $250,000, we are going to get it back two or three fold," he said.

LaRosa said the town wants to keep the process moving forward to help "remove an eyesore" from town.

"It is another important step moving forward in an 20 year old plus effort to cleanup the Foundry site," he said. LaRosa added the goal of the agreement is to "turn it into an asset for the town." 

On April 18, Cherry Hill Construction, which is the , " according to emails obtained by Patch.

Cherry Hill Construction on the former Foundry site. The Central Connecticut Health District authorized the construction company to remove two piles of debris that contain asbestos material from the site. The material is believed to have been removed from site, Borea said.

Since the piles were removed, the company has been on site, however they have not been doing any work, Borea said. Company is expected to resume work within the next few days.

The council came to their decision after a more than 30-minute executive session. The meeting on Thursday is the that the council has discussed the Foundry in executive session. Even though it was possible for the public to comment on the council's decision, no one was present. 

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Jaclyn Farnham July 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
The Council cannot make any agreement on the development before it goes through land use boards. This is the only question still lingering and you will see residents out when those question finally come to the table. Yes, make your deals to clean it up but explain how you can make a deal on use without going through the proper channels? Like the Town did on Brook street, will they be bullied by developers to "settle another lawsuit" - this time a zoning lawsuit by a major developer - and get around their own Zoning board's decision? Funny.... they don't settle lawsuits against them brought by citizens.
Commento ErgoSum July 21, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Now you understand. They only settle lawsuits that may bring in significant tax revenue. Developers wave dollar bills as though they were waving steaks to a dog.
Stacey July 21, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Rocky has to start following the rules just as they expect everyone else to. Just another disappointment Ricky Jill town has done again. They have no preservation of the town in mind and are going to turn once was a small beautiful town into a small city! They had no consideration for its numourous and various types of wild life that is running our if room and time !

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