Submitted by Ed Munster.
The Public Hearing will be held at the Firehouse Community Hall at 7:00 p.m. on May 11, 2022, to discuss the purchase, environmental remediation and sale of the Scovil Mill (former CTDOT garage) at 11 Candlewood hill Road.
Firstly, it is important to note that the Planning and Zoning Commission recently met and issued a report indicating that this project is in full compliance with the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development which has the goal, “Support the redevelopment of the Scovil Hoe Mill Complex by working with State agencies, especially Conn DOT and DECD. Focus on environmental remediation of the property to get ready for reuse.”
Specifically, the topics to be discussed at the hearing will be agenda items for approval at a Town meeting to be held on May 18, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. at the Firehouse.
- To approve the acquisition of real estate and authorize the First Selectman to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with CTDOT for the purchase of the Scovil property for $326,000, subject to Town’s receipt of funding from a State Financial Assistance Agreement for $1.8 million for the Scovil Mill Remediation Project.
The State’s appraisal of this DOT (Department of Transportation) property is $325,000 plus a $1,000 administrative fee leading to a total cost of $326,000, which is in the capital budget. The source of the funds is from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 so that this purchase is not using town tax dollars.
- To authorize the First Selectman to enter into and execute all documents necessary to have the Town receive the State Financial Assistance Agreement for $1.8 million for the Scovil Mill Remediation Project
In order to receive this $1.8 million grant from DECD (Department of Economic and Community Development) the town is required to engage with a developer for the environmental remediation of the property to ensure that the project will be completed, and the buildings will be used as envisioned. The state will hold a mortgage and a “negative” pledge, which requires that the developer not flip the property within 10 years or use it for a purpose not agreed to.
This project has been approved by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Municipal Brownfield Liability Relief Program, which gives the town liability protection from any unknown environmental conditions when the town purchases the property from DOT. Tighe and Bond (the town’s environmental consultant) has prepared the Remedial Action Plan, which is the basis of the $1.8 million cleanup estimate.
- To approve the sale of real estate and authorize the First Selectman to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with PB Projects VIII, LLC for the sale of the Scovil property after PB Projects VIII, LLC expends $650,000 improving the property for future use.
The developer Parker Benjamin will need to invest at least $650,000 to bring the buildings up to code and secure Certificates of Occupancy. PB will not take ownership of the buildings until this happens at which time the town will turn over title to PB. At this point the town will begin receiving taxes on the buildings.
- To approve the acquisition of two (2) parcels from Haddam Volunteer Fire Company including the Town Community Center, which adjoin the Scovil property. (no change in use proposed)
This will clear up the title on these properties.
- To approve acceptance of use of Town Green for Town (WPCA) owned and operated septic system serving Scovil property and Town (Community Center) property
The community septic system will include the Town Green and two parcels on the HES property to service the tenants at the Scovil Mill property and possibly the Town Community Center and Veterans Museum. This will be operated by the WPCA (Water Pollution Control Authority), which was established by the town.
Photos by Jason Brown.