Deal struck with property owner


Borough waives some back taxes as part of agreement

NAUGATUCK — The borough will waive hundreds of thousands in back taxes owed by Naugatuck’s largest tax delinquent, which happens to own some real estate that officials say is prime for residential development.

The current owners of the former Risdon Manufacturing property have let about 15 acres sit vacant for 12 years while racking up between $600,000 and $750,000 in tax debt. The borough has agreed to waive some of that in exchange for several agreements that could benefit Naugatuck in the long term.

Naugatuck officials believe Risdon owes about $775,000 in taxes. But Gary Matthews, principal of First Hartford Capitol Corp., which owns the former Risdon Manufacturing property on Andrew Avenue near the commercial corridor on Rubber Avenue, believes it is closer to $600,000.

In recent months, the two sides have negotiated what to do about the back taxes, and the borough had considered selling the property through a tax auction. But the Board of Mayor and Burgesses agreed Tuesday to accept $300,000 as payment in full of all outstanding real estate tax obligations against all parcels associated with the property through June 30, 2014.

The deal comes in exchange for the following: Transfer of title of the parcel currently used as a parking lot by the Peter J. Foley Little League, which Risdon had allowed the youth organization to use for several years; A deed restriction to the Borough of Naugatuck … prohibiting any residential uses on such properties in perpetuity; A commitment by First Hartford Capitol Corp. to pay all future tax obligations from July 1, 2014 going forward; A commitment to redevelop the property in a reasonable amount of time.

Risdon made plastic for lipstick cases and other cosmetics products for several years in Naugatuck before moving most of its operations to Watertown in 2000. By 2002, the company was completely moved out of Naugatuck.

In 2010, the borough moved to foreclose on the property owned by First Capitol Corp., which at the time owed about $500,000 in taxes, according to borough officials. The hope was to get the ball rolling for the borough or some other private entity to sell the property for future redevelopment. At the time, the property was owned by Robert V. Matthews, but it now belongs to Gary Matthews.

The borough says the property is flat and in a good location, making it attractive to potential commercial developers.