Home » Laurel City Revamp offer tabled a second time

Laurel City Revamp offer tabled a second time

WINSTED — For the second time, the Board of Selectmen tabled a proposal made by Laurel City Revamp to purchase tax liens on the Capitol Products building during a meeting on Monday, July 18.The nonprofit organization is led by Selectman Michael Renzullo, who recused himself as the other selectmen discussed the offer with Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan.Mayor Candy Perez and Selectman Ken Fracasso were not present at the meeting.Renzullo, through his organization, purchased the long vacant building at 35 Willow St. through a quitclaim deed. In early June, Renzullo offered the town $25,001 to purchase the town’s tax liens on the property, which is currently estimated at $84,203.Nelligan told the selectmen that the town is currently the first place lien holder on the property. If the selectmen agree to Renzullo’s offer, they would become the second or possibly third place lien holder.“If [Renzullo’s] project goes under or gets foreclosed, you would be closed out by the lien holders ahead of you,” Nelligan said. “If you accept his offer, you would not be in the position you are in now.”Nelligan suggested that the town, as a condition for accepting Renzullo’s offer, could put a lien on the property for the amount of taxes that are owed.“This would, in effect, put the town in the position of a bank,” Nelligan said. “In effect, you are giving him over $80,000 [as a lien in back taxes].”Nelligan also spoke about the issue of a nonprofit organization purchasing a town building.“Unlike Lambert Kay, the town does not own the property,” Nelligan said. “If a nonprofit organization purchases a building, that’s just the way it is. However, just because a nonprofit organization is tax exempt, it does not mean that it’s exempt from property taxes. If the building is going to be rented to a restaurant, that portion of the building would be taxed. You can get some taxes in as the project moves forward.”Renzullo said he never intended to withhold property taxes from the town.“I volunteered to pay taxes,” Renzullo said. “The organization will pay property taxes starting in January if the offer is accepted.”At the previous selectmen’s meeting, Fracasso stated that Renzullo’s project and offer are unethical.At Monday’s meeting, Nelligan said he could not render a decision concerning the ethics of the project and offer.“That’s not for me to say, that’s for the Ethics Commission to decide,” Nelligan said.Renzullo said he already went to the Ethics Commission with the project.“They reviewed it and they only said to not take part in any discussions [as a selectman],” Renzullo said.The selectmen eventually voted to table the proposal and asked Nelligan to draw up a contract between Renzullo and the town.“I would like this to be all said and done by the next time we meet,” Renzullo said. “This has already gone on for a month-and-a-half. I’m optimistic because just about everyone in town is behind this.”

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