Norwich State Hospital Sales Agreement Moves Forward
Monday, December 12th 2005
The purchase and sale agreement between the State Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Town of Preston to turn the bulk of the former Norwich State Hospital property over to the town moved closer to final approval this week with DPW�s submittal of clarifications responding to several issues raised by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
DPW and the Town officially had agreed to transfer 419 acres of the hospital campus to Preston �as is� for $1 in an agreement signed on Nov. 2, 2005 between DPW Commissioner James T. Fleming and Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon.
The town has three years from the time of the approval of the agreement by the Attorney General to close on the transfer of the property.
The purchase and sale agreement was resubmitted by DPW to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee for review and approval today, December 12, 2005. Upon approval it will be re-submitted to the Government Administration and Elections committee, and then to the Office of the Attorney General.
The Agreement has already been approved by the Office of Policy and Management and the State Properties Review Board.
Commissioner Fleming stated today, �We have addressed the concerns raised by the Attorney General and resubmitted the agreement to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee for their review.�
In a Dec. 12, 2005 letter to Attorney General Blumenthal, DPW Commissioner Fleming explained DPW�s resolutions of the issues brought up by the AG�s Office, and stated that DPW is re-submitting the agreement without changes.
The Attorney General had listed several areas in the agreement that he believed needed adjustment. For example, the AG noted mandatory Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) non-discrimination clause requirements. However, on December 7, 2005, CHRO voted to exempt the proposed purchase and sale agreement based the requirements� relevance to this particular state/town agreement.
The town has declined to agree with the AG�s recommendation on the reverter issue and the state is willing to move forward on that issue as originally negotiated.
Concerning the issue of personal property on the site, the AG requested that the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), under whose jurisdiction this would fall, sign off on the agreement.
However, DPW was recently informed by DAS that an auction was held by DAS at Norwich Hospital on October 31, November 1 and 2, 1996. At this time, there is no other personal property remaining at the hospital property, and therefore there is no need for DAS to sign the agreement.
The AG also called for references to warranties provided by the state be taken out of the agreement because they constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity. DPW responded by noting that its legal staff has found on close inspection that the agreement by its terms states that the state is not waiving its sovereign immunity, and that the warranty references are harmless in terms of any practical liability to the state.
Finally, the AG noted that in the description of the property to be transferred it is unclear as to whether an ash landfill is part of the agreement. DPW replied that the agreement does include a metes and bounds description of the subject property, and also requires that an updated property description be prepared for the deed that will be conveyed at closing. DPW has retained a surveyor to update the survey and provide that description. That work is expected to take about six months. In the meantime, it is DPW�s understanding that the agreement is legally enforceable with the existing property description as is.
Norwich State Hospital is a former mental institution founded over a century ago. It was closed in 1996. The campus consists of 470 acres of land and a number of buildings, with forests, meadows, and waterfront access along the Thames River.
This article was published by Connecticut State Department of Public Works on Monday, December 12th 2005 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Norwich State Hospital galleries on opacity.us unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.