Downtown property purchase subject of meeting

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The borough is looking into buying the General DataComm property to aid with redeveloping downtown. -RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses will hold a special meeting Wednesday to hear public opinion on, and possibly approve, the purchase of General DataComm’s 10-acre downtown property.

“We’ve talked for several weeks now that we wanted to have a special meeting about this topic, which will include the opportunity for the public to comment and ask questions,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.

The borough has been negotiating with the communications technology company for months over the property, which was until earlier this year the cornerstone of the downtown revitalization project called Renaissance Place. The development agreement for that project has expired, but officials have said that buying the property would give the borough more control of land downtown for responsible redevelopment.

Jay Carlson, chairman of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, will speak about the borough’s vision for downtown, and the NEDC’s lawyer will present the proposed transaction with GDC.

Borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick will discuss the borough’s post-purchase relationship with GDC, and financial officials, including Controller Wayne McAllister, will discuss the proposed financing of the transaction.

The public will be given time to comment before burgesses discuss, and possibly vote on, the purchase proposal, Mezzo said.

The borough board last month approved a resolution supporting acquisition of the property through eminent domain if necessary. The resolution means the borough is not responsible for environmentally cleaning the land, even if the property is not acquired through eminent domain.

“It’s never been our intention to expect an eminent domain relationship,” Mezzo said.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Naugatuck Train Station, 195 Water St.