Letter: First Selectman clarifies settlement

To the editor,

I would like to take the opportunity to clarify some issues regarding last week’s article, “Town, developer settle debt,” regarding the settlement payment for the Chatfield Farms development approved by the Board of Selectmen at our June monthly meeting.

First, the issue goes back a number of years to when Wyndham Homes was the developer in Chatfield Farms. They originally deposited $125,000 with the town to cover prospective inspection fee costs, which was exhausted in 2009. At the time Wyndham Homes’ loan on the property was being foreclosed, slightly more than $27,000 in additional fees had been accumulated which the town had not yet billed for and which it did not seek in a claim against the foreclosure procedure.  Also, slightly over $9,000 in additional fees were accumulated following AM Alexandria’s acquisition of the development in 2010, with about half of that figure the responsibility of EG Home since their involvement commencing in April 2013. AM Alexandria acknowledges their responsibility for these charges and issued a check to the Town of Beacon Falls in October 2013.  The town has not cashed this check, waiting for final disposition of the remaining $27,000, which had been in dispute.

Also, there was never any potential for blight issues with this development. Chatfield Farms community is justifiably proud of the meticulous maintenance of their grounds, it is truly a model neighborhood in that regard.

In the interest of giving credit where it is due, I would like to commend the Beacon Falls Planning and Zoning Commission and Chairman Joe Fitzpatrick and Matt Gilchrist of EG Home for their efforts in bringing about this result. Their efforts in negotiating a settlement offer for the portion of the fees incurred by Wyndham Homes and not acted upon in as timely a manner as possible by the town have led our land use attorney to a point where he could recommend that the Board of Selectmen accept this settlement. Without the diligent work of all parties, we would still be chasing such an equitable resolution to this issue.

Christopher Bielik

First Selectman

Beacon Falls