Winsted Town Seal
Winsted Town Seal

WINSTED — After an executive session at their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 6, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to release the town’s mortgage on the 35 Willow Street property owned by Laurel City Revamp.
The nonprofit organization was formed in 2010 by former selectman Michael Renzullo in order 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.
However, for over a decade the town has filed various lawsuits against the organization for not paying back property taxes and other various issues.
The latest three lawsuits against the organization were filed by the town in November 2019 by Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan.
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 totally free of contamination.
According to Town Manager Joshua Kelly, the board voted to release the mortgage in order for the organization to sell the building
In an interview after the meeting, Kelly said that the organization is planning on selling the building to Miller’s Crossing LLC.
As a condition for the town releasing its mortgage on the property, all back taxes on the property would be paid by the organization once the building is sold.
The organization owes a total of $26,516.99 in back taxes on the 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.
While the town’s lawsuits against Laurel City Revamp state that they are suing for both back taxes and legal fees, Kelly said that he did not know if Laurel City Revamp would be required to pay the town any legal fees.
“We believe that the transfer of the property will be a benefit to economic development on that property,” Kelly said. “Therefore, the board voted unanimously to make sure that the transaction can go through legally. It is our desire that the property becomes prosperous and helps the town grow and is as wonderful a place to visit as the rest of the town is. From the board’s perspective, we want to help facilitate that transformation.”
While Kelly said that he saw the development plans for the building made by Miller’s Crossing LLC, he said that “I’m not at liberty to share what I know because it’s proprietary information. But there are plans for development.”