NAUGATUCK — The borough has taken control of three vacant properties with the hopes of making them useful again.
Earlier this year, Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess announced an initiative to look into remnant properties, parcels that for one reason or another aren’t generating any tax revenue, and seeing how they can work the best for the borough.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month voted to accept the conveyance of two properties in forgiveness of back taxes.
One of the parcels, a 1.32-acre property known as 0 School Street Extension, was owned by the Woodbury-based Republic Realty LLC. The company purchased the property in 2002 for $60,000 and owed approximately $20,500 in back taxes on the property, according to officials.
Hess said the property is steep and would be hard to utilize as a parcel on its own, which is why the company had trouble selling it. However, since the property abuts the Naugatuck Police Department, the borough can use it to help provide better access to the police station, he said.
The other property, known as 0 Springdale Ave., is a 2.6-acre parcel that was also owned by Republic Realty.
Hess said the company had originally planned a 10-lot subdivision for the land. However, the borough denied the application. The property has been sitting vacant ever since and the company currently owes approximately $25,000 on it. The company had originally purchased the property in 1997 for $40,600.
Borough officials decided to accept the property and then try to sell it off as two building lots.
Hess said by selling it as two lots the borough would cover the cost of the back taxes on the lot and the property on School Street.
The board also approved taking the deed to the property at 176 North Main St. in lieu of collecting back taxes. The 0.05 acre property, which has an 850-square-foot commercial building, is owned by the Watertown-based Amicable Service. According to the Assessor’s Office, the property is assessed at $53,550. The company owed nearly $35,700 in back taxes on the property.
Hess said the property went to a tax auction earlier this year and the borough received one bid for $5,000.
“We rejected the offer because we thought the property was worth more,” Hess said.
Hess said officials felt taking the deed and trying to sell it was the best way to move forward.
“So we either take it and get something or we put it out for auction again and take $5,000,” Hess said. “This is the best deal I think we can do.”