Winsted Town Seal
Winsted Town Seal

WINSTED — The Board of Selectmen has scheduled an executive session for their Tuesday, July 6 meeting to discuss potential strategies in litigation against Laurel City Revamp.
According to the state’s judicial website, the town has filed three separate cases against the organization, which owns the former Capitol Products building at 35 Willow Street.
All three lawsuits against the nonprofit organization were filed by the town in November 2019 by Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan.
The nonprofit organization was formed in 2010 by former selectman Michael Renzullo to rehabilitate distressed and underused properties.
The building was vacant for years after Capitol Products went out of business, but Laurel City Revamp purchased the building for $1 via a quitclaim deed in July 2011.
Ten years of agreements, settlements, and lawsuits
In December 2011 a previous Board of Selectmen approved a plan by Renzullo to purchase $89,000 in tax liens for $25,000, then in May 2012, the organization cleared all outstanding liens for the building.
In January 2015 Renzullo’s father, attorney Patsy Renzullo, sent a letter to then Town Manager Dale Martin pleading for a two-year extension of owed property taxes, $25,000 due to the town, and a deferment of all property taxes until the completion of construction of the property.
In response, Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan wrote to the elder Renzullo that the town would proceed with foreclosure, which was filed at Litchfield Superior Court in April 2015.
Patsy Renzullo responded to the foreclosure case by filing a counterclaim for $2 million in damages.
In January 2016, previous Town Manager Robert Geiger said that Michael Renzullo would be given another chance to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure on the building.
At that time, Geiger said that Michael Renzullo would have to submit a payment plan, but that the existing approved terms between Michael Renzullo and the town would not change.
In May 2016, Geiger said that Michael Renzullo came back to the town with a different proposal for the property.
A pretrial conference in the case, one scheduled for December 2016 and another scheduled for January, were delayed twice by the request of Patsy Renzullo.
In June 2017, the town announced that it ended its foreclosure case against Laurel City Revamp, with Patsy Renzullo dropping his counterclaim against the town.
It was announced that, as part of the town dropping the foreclosure lawsuit, Laurel City Revamp has paid all back taxes that it owed to the town on the property.
In April 2018, Michael Renzullo put the property up for sale.
Thousands of dollars in back taxes owed
According to the town’s online tax database, the organization owes a total of $26,516.99 in back taxes on the 35 Willow Street property dating back to 2016.
Separately, the organization owes the town $8,881.42 in back taxes on another property listed as being on Rowley Street/5 Pell Road.
According to the state’s court database, the town filed three lawsuits against Laurel City Revamp in November 2019.
With all three lawsuits, Town Attorney Nelligan claims that the organization breached various agreements with the town by not paying real estate taxes when due, and by not fully rendering the Capitol Products building free of contamination.
The town is seeking to take possession of the property, along with being compensated for all legal fees.