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    Saturday, November 26, 2022

    Groton City Council approves sale of Mother Bailey House

    Photograph taken in the early 1900s depicting the “Mother Bailey” House on Thames Street in the City of Groton. (Courtesy of the Jim Streeter Collection)

    Groton ― The city plans to sell the Mother Bailey House property at 108 Thames Street to FTTB LLC, a family-owned business based in the city.

    The City Council on Monday approved selling 0.15 acres of land and the 18th century structure in “as is condition” for $20,000 to FTTB LLC.

    The council authorized City Mayor Keith Hedrick to execute a contract with FTTB, whose president is Frank Jennette, a City of Groton resident.

    The city has been trying to get the property back on the tax roll, and this was the third round of requests for proposals for the property.

    Deputy Mayor Gweneviere Depot said “It’s been a long road to get here” and the city has reduced restrictions at every step.

    “I’m very happy that the hopefully end result is going to be a city resident who we see often volunteering,” Depot said. “He and his wife volunteer a lot of time to the community. They really care about this community, and so it makes me happy if we can have a win-win situation with this particular building.”

    Hedrick said he thinks “this is a very positive thing for the city.”

    According to a 2012 Capital Needs Assessment, the circa 1782 two-story center hall colonial structure has been used “as a private residence, an inn and tavern, as host to an early post office, and again as a single family residence,“ among other uses.

    Anna Warner Bailey, or “Mother Bailey,” was a "heroine of the Revolution and the Battle of 1812," according to the Friends group.

    The city bought the property in 2010 and made repairs, but city residents in 2016 voted down re-purposing bond money from other projects to be spent on the Mother Bailey House. The Friends of the Mother Bailey House Foundation, a local group, stepped in to fundraise, but ultimately did not reach its goal.

    The city had two respondents to this latest requests for bids, Hedrick said by phone Thursday. The city’s Real Estate Committee voted and then the proposal was brought forth the City Council.

    The latest requests for proposals was only for 108 Thames Street and did not include adjacent property at 0 Broad Street, as in past requests for proposals.

    FTTB was selected in the prior round, but the city and the company were unable to come to an agreement, Hedrick said. The city this summer began seeking bids again for the Mother Bailey House, and FTTB reapplied, which Hedrick said speaks to Jennettte’s determination and commitment to the city.

    Hedrick said the only requirement the city had for the property in this latest round was that the structure could not be demolished.

    Jennette said he would be sharing concrete information about the plans for the property within the next few days.

    “They live in the city, and they are very active in the community and I look forward to working with them to make the Mother Bailey House the vision that we all hope it will be,” Hedrick said.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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