Borough hires firm, applies for grant for ‘port’ project

An aerial view of the 86.5-acre site, which is owned by Lanxess, the borough is eyeing for an intermodal transportation hub. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials remain focused on bringing the proposed “” to life.

The Port of Naugatuck is proposed to be an inland port and intermodal transportation hub 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 allow international goods to go through customs in the borough.

The borough is currently in talks with Lanxess about acquiring the property.

During a special meeting on March 21, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses waived the bidding process and awarded an engineering contract for the project to Civil 1, Inc., an engineering company out of Woodbury. The approval allowed Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess to work out a contract with the firm.

In an interview after the meeting, Hess said the borough hired the firm to make sure the project continues to move along.

“The reason for the hiring was so that we can complete the final stages of our due diligence to help ascertain site costs and other issues related to topography in order for us to make our final calculations before we finish the negotiations with Lanxess,” Hess said.

The board also approved a resolution allowing Hess to apply for a grant through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

The grant, which is not to exceed $200,000, would provide the borough with additional funding for the engineering, environmental and legal costs associated with acquisition of the property, Hess said. The grant requires a 10 percent match by the borough.

Although the borough is working on the project and in talks with Lanxess, Hess said there is no clear timeline of when the borough will close on the property.

“We are moving as expeditiously as we can, but there are many complex issues and a lot of moving parts,” Hess said.