CITY OF DERBY
REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING
JUNE 8, 2005
FORMER DERBY CITY HALL – ALDERMANIC CHAMBERS – 6:30 P.M.
(35 Fifth Street)
Mayor Marc J. Garofalo called the meeting to order at 6:39 p.m. All rose and pledged allegiance to the flag.
Present: The Honorable Mayor Marc J.
Also Present: Alderwoman Sheri Pflugh
ADDITIONS, DELETIONS, CORRECTIONS TO AGENDA
Mayor Garofalo said he would like to add an Executive Session to the agenda as some items relate to the update on the South Side of Main Street Revitalization Project. The Executive Session would be for discussion purposes only with no action to be taken.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Stevens with a second by Mr. Guardiano to adopt the agenda with the one addition. Motion carried.
Jeff Auerbach, Derby Garden Center, 4 Caroline Street, Derby, CT – We just received this timetable and if I can possibly ask one or two questions just to understand something. For example…
Mayor Garofalo – Just for the record the document that was passed out was adopted last month.
Mr. Auerbach – Right. I just wanted to get some clarification…
Mayor Garofalo – Right – and we’re going to go over everything tonight.
Mr. Auerbach – (Inaudible) what happens if you don’t? We have the chance to ask…
Mayor Garofalo – No. What I’m saying is if you have questions ask them now. But we’re going to go through everything.
Mr. Auerbach – First very quickly (inaudible) #5 – Site testing within 90 days of execution. Site testing of what site specifically? #13 – you say 60 days after City and/or Developer take title. Title to what? That really would be helpful.
Brian Calvert, Calvert Safe & Lock, 40 Caroline Street, Derby, CT – Just a couple of issues – one of them whether it’s important or not I don’t know but if you notice on this contract it was signed by two Mayors – yourself and the attorney – it’s marked down as Mayor. I don’t know how legal that is – I don’t know but there it is on page 42. And I wanted to touch on this newspaper article from the City Attorney. It says – he said – Richard Buturla said that Ceruzzi would likely re-evaluate the Derby project scope if the Supreme Court ruled against New London. And then he went on to say that eminent domain is a powerful tool that municipalities use. Without that tool the City of Derby would have to move forward in a slightly different fashion. Well Buturla said that the City would use eminent domain only as a last resort. What he’s saying here is that should the Supreme Court go against New London the City would now change the scope of the project. Would I be reading that correctly?
Mayor Garofalo – It’s hard to say at this point.
Mr. Calvert – Well he said it. He said that you would change the scope of it. Is he speaking for the City there or just his own?
Mayor Garofalo – That’s his opinion and then the voting members are here. It would be way too premature to even try to speculate what it would be all about. I can only speak for myself.
Mr. Calvert – That’s a hypothetical…
Mayor Garofalo – You could never predict what the court is going to say.
Mr. Calvert – I’m asking Mr. Mayor if you could sort of predict what your representative is going to say. I don’t like that word eminent domain or the two words and I don’t like it thrown around and I think he should downplay it. He’s been saying this ever since the very first meeting and it’s very upsetting to those of us who (inaudible) threatened. If you’re not it doesn’t matter, but it does to us. And I would ask that you know you look at the time – I’m reading this contract here and if you look, (inaudible) number the pages, but basically it’s saying that they would go to the State Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation and get approvals and permits – this is the Ceruzzi Organization – and they would get approvals and permits for this project. It then goes on to say that 90 days after State permits and approvals are obtained if the developer does not get settlements for those people who are down there – if the City has to use it’s right of eminent domain – if he does not get settlements then the City is going to use this eminent domain thing. My question is how can he get permits and approvals on property he doesn’t own? How can he put that in his contract that he has to go and get these approvals and permits on what? What property is he getting it on? Certainly not this gentleman, or ours, I would hope not, I would think not. Could you clarify that? Or could you look into it and check out what it is? The timeline must be wrong here somewhere. And again I just wanted to say if you could ask this gentleman to stop using that phrase. It is inflammatory to us – we live there, it’s upsetting and I don’t think it’s necessary. We know what’s going to go on and we’re quite willing to work along with it. You know to stop using these veiled legal threats. It’s not necessary and I think it’s a little bit childish and it doesn’t do anything for the City. Thank you.
Tony Staffieri, 17 O’Sullivan Road, Derby, CT – I’d like to know whatever happened to the plan about the City property that was acquired from the State? The Beard property along the Naugatuck River. That was supposed to – the business, property owners downtown was supposed to be moved to that location. I think things would make it a lot easier for the property owners that they would get a building somewhat the same or better condition and make a deal a lot easier to happen.
Hearing no one else wishing to address the committee without objection the public portion was closed.
APPROVE MINUTES OF APRIL 13, 2005 MEETING
A MOTION was made by Mr. Russo with a second by Mr. Stevens to approve the Minutes of the April 13, 2005 meeting. Motion carried.
APPROVE MINUTES OF MAY 11, 2005 MEETING
A MOTION was made by Mr. Russo with a second by Mr. Guardiano to approve the Minutes of the May 11, 2005 meeting. Motion carried.
APPROVE MINUTES OF MAY 18, 2005 SPECIAL MEETING
A MOTION was made by Mr. Stevens with a second by Mr. Guardiano to approve the Minutes of the May 18, 2005 Special Meeting. Motion carried.
UPDATE ON SOUTH SIDE OF MAIN STREET REVITALIZATION PROJECT
Mayor Garofalo informed the agency members that John Ceruzzi is present this evening and would give an update on the project.
Mr. Ceruzzi said the more pressing items on the timeline are the demolition of the three buildings on Main Street (256, 280, & 284.) He said they have been in contact with Standard Demolition, the company that the City has the contract with, and they will be formalizing a date to begin the completion of the work. They are also finalizing the review of the Asbestos Reports that were prepared a couple of months ago. He noted that the abatement must take place before the demolition work commences. One of the buildings has already been abated. They expect to have the buildings abated and the actual demolition work begin prior to July 15, 2005. He said they also had to work out an agreement with Standard Demolition for monies owed to Standard by the City for prior work and they have generally come to terms with that. He said they were to have a survey completed by August 15th. He said the physical work is just about complete; they are just waiting for some title information. Environmental testing also has to be done on the property. He noted that they are going to need assistance from the City to get permission to go on some of the properties. Once they have the permission they would have 90 days to complete the tests. He said the tests would be environmental and geotechnical. Mr. Ceruzzi said they would continue to attend the monthly meetings of this agency and they are on tract with everything that is coming up in the next three months to get that physical work done. The A-2 survey is completed in draft form – they are still waiting on more information on two properties.
Mr. Guardiano asked if the demolition of the three buildings would be completed within 60 days or started within 60 days? Mr. Ceruzzi said it would be started – they’ll probably start in early July. Mr. Guardiano also asked why the geotechnical testing wasn’t done sooner? Mr. Ceruzzi said there is really no good answer to give. He said they knew when they did research with DOT issues and the Home Depot – that that building was on pilings – that it was a concern, but not a major concern of what would be happening on the south side of the street. He said with the buildings there, the topography is tough to get a drill rig in. With the businesses open it would not have been the easiest thing to do.
Mr. Russo said in the updated Preferred Development Agreement it says that Ceruzzi has the discretion to increase the demolition site if they wanted to. Have you considered this? Mr. Ceruzzi said it was mentioned in conversations with Standard. He said if they make a better argument to increase the site it’s a possibility, however, at this point it’s not probable.
Mr. Guardiano said that people are concerned about the look of Main Street. He said he is more concerned about the traffic patterns – can the barriers that are presently on Main Street be moved? Mr. Ceruzzi said it is his understanding that when the rest of the demolition is complete the barriers will be pushed back so it won’t be blocking the road. He noted that it would either be barriers or a fence on the cliff side. Mayor Garofalo said the original contract called for a fence to be installed on the interior sidewalk line. He said the parking would be reinstated.
Mr. Stevens said he would like Mr. Ceruzzi to make sure that the business owners who are affected by the geotechnical testing are made aware of exactly what is going to happen in order to make it as painless as possible for them. Mr. Ceruzzi said a lot of it is mainly access issues.
DISCUSSION OF TIMELINE FOR SOUTH SIDE OF MAIN STREET REVITALIZATION PROJECT
Mayor Garofalo said he would like Atty. Holcomb to review the timeline for the members. He said this timeline is what we discussed at the last meeting and we would be revisiting this timeline as time goes by.
Mayor Garofalo noted that this is a summary of the timeline as we know it. It is not the legal document – it’s a summary. The purpose is to give a concise, one page document of what the major points are.
Amended Preferred Development Agreement
1. Agreement approved and executed May 19, 2005.
2. Demolition of 280, 284, and 256 Main Street, 60 days from execution date of Preferred Development Agreement.
3. Developer to pay $336,000 for outstanding Standard claim within 90 days from execution.
4. $100,000 additional monies when permits and approvals granted.
5. Site testing within 90 days of execution. (Environmental & Geotechnical testing of all of the properties located within Phase 1A)
6. Financial analysis within 90 days of testing period.
7. 9 months to work out financing.
8. 180 days from the later of execution of Amended Preferred Development Agreement, Land Disposition Agreement, Redevelopment Plan and commitment for GAP funding – shall apply for permits.
9. Detailed phasing plan within 90 days from commitment (financing commitment.)
10. 10 days after permits and approvals, responsible for relocation costs.
11. Demolition costs payable within 60 days of permits and approvals obtained.
12. Within 30 business days of permits and approvals, letter of credit issued for $1,750,000.
13. Closing 60 days after City and/or Developer take fee title (fee title to all the properties in Phase 1A.)
14. Commence construction 180 days after closing.
15. Complete construction 5 years after closing date.
16. Future development rights, 3 years from the completion of Phase 1A, exclusive right to negotiate.
Mr. Guardiano said he was under the impression that the demolition of the buildings had to be completed within 60 days. You’re saying that it has to be started within 60 days? Atty. Holcomb said that is correct – it is under paragraph 18 of the Amended Preferred Development Agreement. Mr. Guardiano asked if there is a date for the completion? Atty. Holcomb said he doesn’t see a completion date, however, he has had conversations with Mr. Ceruzzi and the demolition work should take about two to three weeks. Mr. Ceruzzi said buildings come down quickly; however, the debris needs to be removed. He said from a practical standpoint the contractor isn’t going to waste time – they are going to go in and do what they have to do and get out. Mr. Guardiano said conducting the tests is access to all the properties going to be needed? Mr. Ceruzzi said his understanding is they receive access to all the individual properties to do the testing all at once. Mr. Guardiano asked what recourse do we have to allow the testing to be done on privately owned sites? Mayor Garofalo said that is a question that really should be reserved for executive session.
Mr. Russo said his question is really a twofold question. The timeline is really a moving target and the points within the summary timetable are all contingent upon other things happening. Is there anything that this board could be doing in the meantime? Mayor Garofalo said we would be holding a Public Hearing and we are also having the monthly meetings. He said the intention is to work with the developer to try to expedite the process. Mr. Russo said we have to make sure that the property owners have a true understanding of the process. Mayor Garofalo said as we go through the list we will try our best to put specific dates on the remaining items. We will also be using any and all of the City’s resources to accommodate the relocation within the City of Derby as has always been our intent. He said we want to lay out the timetable in a realistic fashion – we don’t want to mislead anybody.
Mr. Guardiano noted that under paragraph 17 of the Amended Preferred Development Agreement it says that the D.O.T. Property would be available for any relocation. Mayor Garofalo said that has always been on the table – it has never been different. Mr. Yacobacci asked if the relocated individuals would own that property? Mayor Garofalo said we are not going to get into individual case-by-case situations. He said the property is available as a relocation resource.
SET PUBLIC HEARING FOR REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR SOUTH SIDE OF MAIN STREET REVITALIZATION PROJECT
Mayor Garofalo said he would propose holding the Public Hearing at the next regular meeting of this agency, which would be July 12, 2005.
REMINDER OF NEXT REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARING ON TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2005
Mayor Garofalo said the Public Hearing for the Redevelopment Plan for the South Side of Main Street Revitalization Project would be the same date as our next meeting, which is Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 6:30 p.m. with the site to be announced.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Stevens with a second by Mr. Russo to adjourn the meeting at 7:17 p.m. Motion carried.
A TAPE RECORDING OF THIS MEETING IS ON FILE IN THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE.