Norwich - The state has received at least one offer from a private developer to purchase the Norwich portion of the former Norwich Hospital property for $300,000 and has asked city officials if they want to match the offer.
The answer is likely to come Monday night when the City Council will vote on a resolution that the city is not interested in buying the property for $300,000.
According to a map accompanying a letter received by City Manager Alan Bergren, the state would sell two parcels, one on the Thames River side of Route 12 and one across the road, a combined total of 49.65 acres.
In total, the property includes 21 buildings, 16 of which are single-family homes where hospital staff once lived.
Jeffrey Beckham, spokesman for the state Department of Administrative Services, which is overseeing the sale of the property, said he could not identify the potential buyer. He said negotiations would remain confidential unless the state reaches a purchase-and-sales agreement with a developer. But that cannot proceed until Norwich officials decide whether they want to buy the land.
The letter to Bergren is dated Feb. 17. Bergren forwarded it to City Council members, the city corporation counsel and all city department heads for consideration.
The City Council voted in January 2010 to reject the state's offer to take ownership of the property for $1 and assume all environmental cleanup costs. The proposed $300,000 purchase price carries the same requirement - that the property would be sold "as is" and the buyer would be liable for all assessment and cleanup costs.
Bergren, and city planning and Norwich Public Utilities officials all said they have not been contacted by any interested developer. If the state sells the property, any development would have to comply with city zoning regulations.
NPU spokesman Mike Hughes said the utility is ready to work with any developer to provide utilities to the property. Water, electricity and sewer lines are in place. A natural gas line would have to be extended to reach the property at the Preston border.
Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon said he had not been notified by the state of the potential sale and had no information on the potential buyer.
Preston accepted the state's offer and took possession of the 390-acre former hospital campus in that town. It has obtained several million dollars in federal and state cleanup grants and loans. Town officials also are negotiating with a Stamford developer on an as yet undisclosed development project there.
Before offering the Norwich property for sale, the state separated a 20-acre, steeply sloped parcel on the Thames River side of Route 12 and turned that piece over to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.