Borough eyes land for athletic fields

The borough is planning to buy about 30 acres of land at the end of Country Hollow Road to use for athletic fields in the future. The Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week authorized Mayor N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess to enter into an agreement to buy the land. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The borough is buying land off Country Hollow Road as part of a multi-year plan to relocate athletic fields.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses last week authorized Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess to enter into an agreement to purchase approximately 30 acres of land — known as Country Hollow Section 5 — at the end of Country Hollow Road.

The borough is buying the land, which is owned by City Hill Associates, Inc., for $100,000. The land is assessed at $154,600.

Hess said the money for the land is coming from a budget surplus the borough is expecting at the end of this fiscal year in June.

Ultimately, the plan is to build athletic fields on the property. The borough is working to build athletic fields on Osborne Field and plans to put athletic fields at Andrew Mountain Park, as well.

The need for athletic fields is likely to come up as Hess seeks to bring his vision for the so-called Port of Naugatuck to life.

The Port of Naugatuck would be an inland port and intermodal transportation hub built on the mostly-vacant 86.5-acre parcel of land along Elm Street that is owned by Lanxess, the successor of Chemtura Corp. The port would also allow international goods to go through customs in the borough.

The borough is in discussions with Lanxess about acquiring the property.

“As we develop the Port of Naugatuck and as warehouses and other related uses come to Naugatuck, it is anticipated that we may need to repurpose existing recreational space,” Hess said.

The closest athletic fields to the site for the proposed port project are across the Naugatuck River at the end of Hotchkiss Street. There are three fields there that are used for softball, baseball, football and soccer.

Hess said repurposing existing fields and creating new ones won’t happen in the immediate future. He said the work at Andrew Mountain Park and Country Hollow would be done by the Department of Public Works, like at Osborne Park.

“Our plan is to use our own men, without hiring outside contractors, to build recreational fields, and to bring in significant revenue generating warehouses and other related light industrial uses into the borough,” Hess said.