Letter: Purchase approved without all the answers
Recently, I went to a board meeting to discuss the upcoming proposal/purchase of the
General DataComm property in Naugatuck. Since it was my first meeting I spent extra time preparing my questions.
I left the meeting frustrated with few questions answered and as a taxpayer a future property owner of the GDC property which has many issues. Even with many questions asked by the audience unanswered the board still voted 8-1 to buy this property.
Here were some of the questions: How will you make up the $200,000 a year in lost tax revenue the GDC was paying? Are they current? While the property sits there for 10 years how will you make up the $2,000,000 in lost revenue? The answer was it is an investment and the GDC is current.
How much will it cost to fix the damaged roof as stated by the board? (The building is 320,000 square feet) Answer: We are going to patch it. That was their answer. How much will it cost to fix the three broken elevators? No answer. How much will it cost to bring the building up to code because there is a tenant remaining in the building? No answer. How much will it cost to maintain the building on a yearly basis? No answer. There is also major soil contaminants that need to be remediated. None of these questions had a specific or estimated expense.
Lastly, the property can be financed in two ways: bonding (at a lower rate) which would have to go through a town referendum where taxpayers vote or through a leasing company at a higher rate where the mayor can bypass the referendum. The mayor and the board chose the higher rate and no vote for the town people. They chose the higher rate. After all the questions brought to the board and the air of uncertainty the board still decided to vote for the purchase of this property. I forgot to mention we will be buying the property “as is.” I would like to know where I can turn to because I as well as other taxpayers spent three hours of our life at this meeting for nothing. There is no one that would buy the GDC property with an “as is” clause without at least researching all estimated costs associated with the property except for the taxpayers of Naugatuck.