Governor Rell Signs Bonding Bill
Proclaims "..bright new era for Derby"
Governor M. Jodi Rell signs special state legislation creating a special tax district for downtown Derby as the mayor looks on with local and state officials and the developers.
Governor M. Jodi Rell came to a scorching parking lot outside Derby City Hall and with the dramatic backdrop of the soon to be demolished buildings on the south side of Main Street signed special legislation creating a special tax district for Derby. The measure, House Bill 5814, An Act Concerning the Bonding Process (Click here to read the legislation), will enable Derby to attract developers by financing the redevelopment of a once elegant downtown section that now includes many derelict and hazardous old buildings. Within a week demolition crews will be in place removing asbestos from the buildings which are slated for demolition as soon as the asbestos removal is complete.
While introducing the governor, a beaming Mayor Tony Staffieri pointed to the doomed Gould Armory and the surrounding crumbling buildings behind him as the "before" with the "after" in the form of the sketches of the plans for the new Main Street Development about to get underway as a result of the legislation that would be signed by the governor.
Governor Rell praised local legislators for their role in passing the special legislation and State Senator Joe Crisco, and Representatives Linda Gentile and Themis Klarides spoke of the bi-partisan team spirit that was required to convince state legislators of the importance and value of the legislation which will be used to fund critical infrastructure improvements in the downtown development area.
She also lauded Mayor Staffieri for the city's redevelopment plans and said, " We are here to celebrate what I am convinced will be a bright new era for Derby. The city will see benefits in more ways than one - it will mean a positive image and economic vitality for this section of Derby. It will turn a long-term vision into reality. And it will mean jobs."
She also said that, " The citizens of Derby deserve a downtown that is worthy of one of Connecticut's most venerable and distinctive communities. Derby began as a trading post in 1642 and was chartered as a city by the state legislature in 1893. Today, the state is helping this outstanding community move forward again. I am confident that the new downtown of Derby will be a showplace of commercial, office and residential development."
Developer Robert Skolnick also spoke briefly about the dynamic project which is so critical to the future of the City.
The legislation is a critical piece of the downtown redevelopment because it allows the City of Derby, with local voter approval, to create a special taxing district to issue bonds to underwrite such services as financing and maintaining roads, trees, and infrastructure improvements; building and managing flood or erosion control systems; establishing and operating a community waer system; and fire protection.
The district can issue up to $45 million in bonds to finance the improvements. It also can levy assessments and taxes on land and buildings benefiting from the improvements, which also may include sidewalks, crosswalks, curbs, drains, sewers, parking facilities, river walks, open space and parks. Bonds will not be considered debts by the state or the City of Derby.
The district will have a president, vice-president, five directors, clerk and reasurer, and will enter into an interlocal agreement with the City. The district will submit quarterly project activity reports to the state Office of Policy and Management, and the legislature's Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.