Aldermen: Board OKs Canal Street building buy

Two large expenditures received the green light from the Board of Aldermen, while two projects which had already received approval are now on hold.

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Thursday, April 11, voted unanimously to pay $400,000, through bonding, to purchase the McCallum Enterprises property at 305 Canal St. This purchase was first approved by the Aldermen more than two years ago.

According to the minutes from the Aldermen’s meeting on Feb. 16, 2017, board members voted unanimously to “approve the settlement agreement between the City of Shelton and MacCallum Canal Co. as presented, which agreement includes but is not limited to the purchase of development rights and conservation easement.” The payment voted on at that meeting was $405,000.

The Aldermen also unanimously approved an expenditure of $200,000, to be paid through bonding, for the replacement of the Lane Street Bridge over Means Brook. The remainder of the bridge replacement will cost $800,000, but, according to Aldermen President John Anglace, that money will be covered through grants from the state Department of Transportation (DOT).

According to state DOT officials, the bridge needs replacement because of several factors, chief among them its age (76 years) and a “poor” DOT rating. The bridge also has no sidewalks and has a critical level of scour, a phenomenon in which fast-moving water removes sediment such as sand and gravel from around bridge abutments or piers and can lead to bridge failure. Additionally, the bridge’s twin culverts need to be replaced.

As those expenditures received approval, two projects — work on both the Shelton High School parking lot and tennis courts — that had been approved last month are now on hold.

Anglace said that the tennis court project — at a cost of $150,000 — was to be covered through funds from the state’s Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP). But city officials recently received word that the state has denied the request for funding for the tennis court project.

“We have appealed that decision,” said Anglace, adding that the state has not given any word on the parking lot project as of yet. “Our appeal is based on the fact that while the tennis courts are located at the high school, they are used by the community as much as the high school, maybe more. Same with the high school parking lot. It is used quite a bit by the community.”

Anglace said that the tennis court project work included digging around the courts and tasking the black top millings to use in the parking lot project.

“Until we get a definitive response to the appeal, this is on hold,” said Anglace.

The state’s Local Capital Improvement Program distributes formula-based entitlement funds to municipalities to reimburse the cost of eligible local capital improvement projects, such as road, bridge or public building construction work. A municipality must request and be granted project authorization by the state’s Office of Police and Management (OPM) in order to be eligible for reimbursement for allowable project costs.

Anglace said that Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration allowed communities to use LoCIP funds to cover costs for improvements on schools and school property. New Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration has since changed that policy, said Anglace, and is not allowing these types of projects.

Other business

• Aldermen unanimously approved a lease agreement with Valley Regional Adult Education to use space within the Richard O. Belden Cultural Center on Grove Street. In relation to that agreement, the Aldermen also voted to spend $15,000 for renovating classrooms to be used by Valley Regional Adult Education.

• Justin Rompre was appointed to the Naugatuck Valley Health District.

• Aldermen approved payment of $2,681.25 to city counsel Teodosio Stanek, LLC, and $627 to assistant city counsel Thomas Galvin Cotter for services rendered.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com