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Monday, May 19, 2008

Courthouse takeover cuts Milford revenue

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— The state is poised to take ownership of the courthouse on West River Street, meaning the city will receive a greatly reduced payment from the state.
Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said a decision was made 20 years ago to have the state take over the Superior Court building, a former police station.
“It made sense back then,” Richetelli said. “Twenty years later, I don’t necessarily like the idea of turning the courthouse over to the state for one dollar. Do I like giving up the courthouse and parking area? No. But at the time, the legal and business community really wanted the courthouse downtown, and it was the only way to do that.”
Richetelli said the state’s $650,000 annual rent will end. He said the city will get some funds from the state because the building will no longer be on the tax rolls. An exact dollar amount is not known, the mayor said, but it will be significantly less than the $650,000.
He said the agreement between the city and state required the state to pay rent for the first 20 years. The city converted the former police station into a courthouse, and the $650,000 payment helped pay off the bond debt.
Richetelli said the debt has been retired for awhile, and the city was benefiting from the $650,000 payment.
The State Bond Commission recently approved $250,000 for a feasibility study concerning expanding the courthouse. Richetelli said he is still hopeful the courthouse expansion will include the adjacent post office building. The post office needs to be relocated elsewhere downtown.
City officials are also hoping the state will pay for a parking structure downtown behind the courthouse. Business and community officials have raised concerns about a lack of parking downtown. The garage is estimated to cost $10 million. No firm estimates have been given for the courthouse expansion.
“The state would be hard-pressed to expand the courthouse without providing adequate parking,” Milford Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Alagno said.


Anonymous Milford Local said...

What a crock! Sell to the state for $1.00. This type of poor forward thinking leadership back 20 years ago is what kills Milford. Todays citizens are paying the price for elected officials that squandered our future. Milford needs to be more long in vision. Most of Miloford's voters think only for the today. This court house issue is a perfect example of Milford at its very worst. Just dumb is all I can say.

May 20, 2008 at 8:07 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of thinking was with the Lisman Admin. and now with the current Admin. Both have failed to maintain our structures, sewer system and parks. Instead they gave away small pieces of land (Cafe Atlantique outdoor area) and want brick sidewalks, granite curbs boardwalks and the Rehab of Devon. $5-10M down there, state money - who gives the state the money - flower pots, who will maintain? Milford of course.
The Alderman slashed the City budget - OK - probably needed. But to reinstate any money to the School system is disgusting. If we have such a great educational system - why are so many on the boderline of graduation? Just Pushed Thru!
It should be made perfectly clear to the BOE and Dr Polansky there will be NO MORE MONEY NEXT YEAR - not one dime!
100% of the population will be impacted by the budget cuts - 70% with no childern in the school system - yet it is OK for 30% of the population to be rewarded -
Just Plain Disgusting

May 21, 2008 at 8:23 AM 
Anonymous MIlford Local said...

Let'[s not blame one administration because we can all go back to the early to mid-1980's with Jagoe or to Moore and Baldwin for lots of Bad Choices. I mean just down-right dumb and visionless. Wespend on things for the "today" voter and no tought to good planning. Wejust spend and spend. Lack of vision will be the ultimate demise of Milford as we know it. SO PLEASE . . . stop the blame game and let's look ahead. WEneed leaders with a vision plan and stop playing politics as usual.

May 22, 2008 at 9:50 AM 

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