Town wins tax auction on land

Officials hope to use parcel to expand park

BEACON FALLS — The town has staked its claim to property on Hubbell Avenue with an eye on further expanding Riverbend Park in the future.

The town won the rights to the property at 49 Hubbell Ave. at a tax sale on Nov. 16. The town bid approximately $47,600 for the land.

The property, which is 0.15 acres, was one of six parcels set for a tax auction on Nov. 9. Three of the properties sold at the auction, and the owners of two others paid off the back taxes prior to the sale.

The town only got one bid on the Hubbell Avenue parcel, which is owned by Steven and Suzanne Christiano, on Nov. 9, and the bid didn’t meet the minimum amount.

The land, which has a single-wide mobile home on it, is assessed at $71,939, according to the property card.

The Christianos have six months to pay the back taxes and associated fees in order to retain ownership of the property. If not, the town will take the deed to the land.

Officials plan to pay about $9,600 in marshal fees, attorney fees, and recording and publication fees, which are included in the town’s bid, and forgive the back taxes owed on the property.

According to town ordinances, any expenditure of $20,000 or more needs to be brought to a town vote. By only paying the associated fees and forgiving the back taxes, the town avoided having to hold a town meeting on the matter.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the town wants to use the land in the future to expand Riverbend Park on Nancy Avenue.

The town forgave back taxes owed on three other properties adjacent to the park over recent years to acquire the land, which was used to expand and improve the now nearly 3-acre park.

The property at 49 Hubbell Ave. is landlocked and doesn’t border the park. There is another piece of property between the park and the property.

Bielik said the town would maintain the property until the other piece of land, which is owned by John and Karin Harmon, comes available.

“We would make it presentable until such future time as we decide to do something with it. For example, if the rest of the Harmon property someday were to be offered to the town of Beacon Falls, we could complete this entire section, merge all of this into one big lot, and extend Riverbend Park all the way around the elbow,” Bielik said.

Bielik said the purchase will ultimately be a good thing for the town at a minimal cost.

“I think there is a significant advantage to the town in being able to do something like that. It is not a large amount of money,” Bielik said.

Attempts to reach the Christianos were unsuccessful.