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Danbury to consider listing contaminated property as surplus

A committee of the Danbury City Council has met about listing a blighted property as surplus, becoming the owner through a foreclosure process.  The former Amphenol site behind police headquarters was acquired by the City two years ago, but the property is contaminated by arsenic, mercury and other chemicals. 

The three acres had been proposed as a site basketball courts, but even after an environmental cleanup it was determined that it could not be used for residential or recreational purposes.  Mayor Joe Cavo says the property is zoned for light-industrial use. 

He notes that the real estate market is changing rapidly and now is the time to get this property back into a tax paying situation with some form of development.  Cavo called it eyesore on Maple Avenue, which is continuing to deteriorate.  He wants it off the City's hands to improve the looks of downtown. 

Amphenol signed a document in 1997 that put them on the hook for clean up.  They just about completed that in 2014/2015 and were working their way to an environmental land use restriction, which means certain areas couldn't be disturbed.  When the City took the land through foreclosure, Amphenol was still on the hook for that, rather than the City.

The City Council will discuss the matter at their meeting tonight.

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Todd Schnitt

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