Norwich - The City Council authorized the city finance department Monday to borrow up to $250,000 for next year's planned revaluation of property values, but only to buy time until the money can be placed in next year's budget.
Norwich has to rush to do the required revaluation by Oct. 1, 2013, because it looks unlikely that the city could obtain an extension of the mandated time schedule. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has rejected several requests from other cities and towns for extensions, Norwich Assessor Donna Ralston told the City Council.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance to bond the $250,000, but Comptroller Joseph Ruffo said the city has no intention to borrow the money. The ordinance does allow the city to sign a contract with winning bidder Vision Government Solutions, proving that money is available for the contract. Ruffo said the money was not placed in the 2012-13 budget, but will be placed in the next budget in the spring.
Ruffo said the city had hoped for an extension to allow the housing market a chance to rebound, giving revaluation appraisers more property sales for comparisons. Real estate transactions have been slow.
Resident Andy Depta, however, called the lack of preparation for the revaluation inexcusable, since revaluations are regular occurrences.
Ralston said a normal revaluation usually takes 18 months, but since the city is behind, the work must be done in less than a year. Vision Government Solutions will do an inventory of all property in the city and will send mailings to property owners asking them to verify the information. The new values will take effect Oct. 1, 2013.