Photo: Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo
Future use of East Hampton town hall could be fun but remains a mystery
EAST HAMPTON The Bristol Realtor who has made an offer to buy the town hall said he is not yet sure what he will do with the building.
But whatever he decides to do, Realtor John Calciano said, It should be fun.
Calciano has offered the town $316,000 for the 13,382-square-foot building located at 20 East High St.
The Board of Finance approved the proposal earlier this week.
However, the proposal still must win approval of both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council before it can be submitted to residents at a town meeting who will finally approve or reject the proposal.
Calciano has presented what so far has been the only bid for the building.
In a recent telephone conversation, Calciano said, Im not quite sure what were going to do with the building.
Were going to re-purpose it, I know that. And were going to form an LLC (a limited liability corporation), he said.
During a recent finance board meeting - which Calciano did not attend it was suggested the building might be rehabilitated, re-furbished, and converted to office space.
It could be that, Calciano said. Or it could be retail. Im really not sure.
When it was suggested that his reason for buying the building was Location, location and location, he laughed and said, Those are the three rules we live by!
What I do know is we are just going to re-purpose it and then were going to take it from there, he said. And then well see what happens. Whatever it is, it should be fun!
He did acknowledge, however, With an old building like that, you never know what youre getting into.
Town officials say if the proposal were approved, they would expect a contract to be agreed to as soon as Feb. 1.
Director of Finance Jeffrey M. Jylkka said the towns chief concern is getting that building upgraded and be put back on the tax rolls.
Assessor Gail Gwiazdowski said it would be premature for her to even speculate about what the building could pay in taxes once it is rehabilitated.
Anything I would say would be purely hypothetical, Gwiazdowski said, which is why I wont say anything.
The town bought the former CL&P electric company customer service center in the early 1970s.
A decade later, discussions began among councilors about finding a new town hall.
Those conversations waxed and waned for decades, until 2017, when the council took concrete steps to find a site for a new facility.
By then, the town government had outgrown the building, requiring the town to rent space elsewhere in town to house social and human services.
The building itself was woefully inadequate and was incapable of meeting the needs of 21st century government, then-Town Manager Michael Maniscaclo said.
The well that serves town hall also had become contaminated, forcing town employees to rely on bottled water.
The building had myriad leaks, it was settling unevenly, it was beset by termites, and it was not accessible to handicapped residents.
The towns computer service is mounted awkwardly in an undersized bathroom.
As if that wasnt enough and adding to the list of deficiencies, a previous council had allowed a bid from CL&P to buy back the building for $1 million to lapse.
The town eventually reached agreement to construct a new 34,000-square-foot combination town hall/police station and Board of Education complex to be built in the Edgewater Hills mixed-use development.
It put the town hall on the market early this year.
Reach Jeff Mill at email@example.com
Originally posted here:
Future use of East Hampton town hall could be fun but remains a mystery - Middletown Press
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