NAUGATUCK – The green light was given to Naugatuck’s $710 million downtown revitalization plan.
The municipal development plan for Renaissance Place was approved unanimously by the Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night. The approval will now allow the borough to seek state funding.
The decision came a day after the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation unanimously approved the document.
Officials from Milone & MacBroom, the projects primary consultant and Conroy Development the private development team, discussed the municipal development plan, a 134-page document that outlines the different phases of the project and steps to be taken over the next several years.
The first phase of the project is to begin work on Parcel C, a borough owned tract at the corner of Maple and Water Streets. The borough has planned to build a state of the art medical facility in partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital on the site and erect a 500-spot parking garage to facilitate parking for the offices and the nearby train station.
Other steps of Phase One include renovations to the borough train station and construction on a portion of the Naugatuck River Greenway between Linden Park and Maple Street.
Mayor Bob Mezzo said he feels fortunate the project is at this point and eligible to receive state funding, saying the borough has shown resiliency in tough times.
“We have really accelerated the time frame for development,” Mezzo said. “You’re not seeing many of the projects that are like Renaissance Place in the valley and other places, there not on the table anymore.”
The borough has decided against tabling their plans amidst economic uncertainty trudging forward as planned several years ago.
“One thing that we’ve done in these troubled economic times is continued to do what we’ve had planned and talked about, we’ve laid the foundation,” Mezzo said.
Mezzo and other town officials commended the work done by all partners involved in the project for helping the borough be in this position.
Officials expressed their hope that the approval of this plan will regenerate excitement in borough residents and work as a catapult to get the other phases of the project moving in the right direction.
The remediation of Parcel C has hit several snags along the way, including discovering coal and coal ash in the soil, but borough officials believe the site will be completely cleaned by years end.
Borough officials announced earlier this month they have exceeded the $1.1 million budget to remediate Parcel C, which will now cost the borough $1.7 million. The exceed budget will not be overly detrimental to the borough because additional funds were reserved for the cleanup effort. The borough has set aside $1.731 million for remediation efforts at Parcel C, leaving the net deficit at $7,509.
The added costs stem from the need for Manafort Brothers, the contractor working on the site, to truck off contaminated soil and bring it to a landfill.