Last night, the Branford Public Works Building Committee held a public meeting seeking input from the community about where the future home of the department will be.
The committee, who has been meeting weekly for months to discuss the new facility, is finally making progress and presented two pieces of public land and five pieces of private/commercial property for potential sites. Since January, the Public Works facility has been housed at 137 N. Branford Rd., in a temporary facility that has been leased for three years with options for two one-year renewals.
A request for proposal was put out to the community soliciting suggestions for property for the new facility; owners of the temporary facility did not submit their building as an option to buy or lease.
Committee Chair Kurt Treiber, briefly presented the locations and then opened the floor to public comment.
Resident Wayne Cooke spoke first rejecting one town property outright. Armed with billboards and books of explanation, Cooke expressed concern for use of the Tabor property, which was taken by the town under eminent domain in early 2000s. Quoting First Selectman Anthony “Unk” DaRos, who was adamant about taking the land that the was the old town dump due to contamination, he said, “What has changed in the seven or eight years?”
Branford resident Cal Ohidy who is in support of the town Tabor property said, “Wouldn’t the first thing be to use a piece if property that the town already owns?” He added that the central location of the Tabor property also makes it a good choice.
The private properties proposed includes a 14-acre parcel next to the town’s Tabor property. Remax Alliance Realtor Stephanie Dorman, who represents the property owners, spoke up in support for the land expressing that the two pieces of property should be treated as separate parcels. The front seven acres of her client’s property is leveled and ready for building, she said; the back 7 acres, however, was leased as a "gentleman’s deal” to the town for dumping about 45 years ago.
The discussion of the property for the future home of the Public Works Department is still ongoing; if you have comments or concerns, e-mail Public Works Director Art Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee is also in the process of selecting an architecture/engineering firm who will review the possible sites and make preliminary suggestions based on a needs assessment of the department. The town has allocated $30,000 for this process to begin.
Proposed Private Properties (also see attached photos of map)
- 15-21 East Industrial Road; 5.8 acres; $9,500,000
This property represented by N & B Holding, LLC has land and one building.
- Tabor Drive; 14.5 acres; $350,000
This property has seven cleared acres for building; there are no structures on this site, which is managed by Remax Alliance.
- 114 School Ground Road; 3.84 acres; $1,900,000
This property, managed by H. Pearce Commercial R.E. comes with land and one building.
- 20 North East Industrial Road; 5.1 acres; $1,250,000
This property managed by O, R & L includes land with two buildings.
- 688 E. Main Street & Baldwin Drive; 5.353 to 5.986 acres; $1,180,000-$1,320,000
This property maintained by Parish Farm Partners has two land options.
- Veteran's Memorial Park; free
An area behind the ball fields could be utilized for the Public Works new facility.
- Tabor Drive; free
Town property on Tabor Drive; the site of the former town dump.