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Paul to discuss Town Hall Annex fate with Bantam board
Litchfield.bz (02-08-17)


A meeting that should provide some insight into the future of the Town Hall Annex in Bantam will take place at Bantam Borough Hall Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
 
Bantam’s Board of Warden and Burgesses will meet with First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. and Selectman Paul Parsons to talk about the building Paul would like the town to dispose of after Bantam Superior Court leaves it for a new Litchfield County courthouse in Torrington this year.
 
The Bantam board favors the town keeping the Town Hall Annex for municipal purposes and has been opposed to the idea of the town selling the building and its 10 acres to raise money that would offset the cost of a new town hall.
 
Once the courthouse leaves and takes with it the $250,000 annual rent paid to the town by the state, it wouldn’t make sense for the town to hold onto the building because it would become a financial albatross for the town, according to Paul. The rental income covers the maintenance expense of the building, a cost taxpayers would have to assume without the rental income.
 
The Town Hall Annex has been the wild card in the long-running discussion of a plan for a new $5.9 million town hall on the lot behind Town Hall. Under the plan for a new town hall, the five municipal offices located in the Town Hall Annex would be moved to the new building.
 
Determining what to with the Town Hall Annex is a priority for the Board of Selectmen, which discussed the issue Tuesday.
 
“I’d like to create a partnership with Bantam to figure out what we’re going to do with that building,” Paul said.
 
Selectman Jeffrey Zullo again expressed his opinion that the board has to make a decision on the Town Hall Annex before considering whether to move forward with a plan for a new town hall. A resident who addressed the board, Gerald Gault, encouraged the same approach Zullo is advocating.
 
Information about the plan for a new town hall and the 10-year history of committees that have worked on plans for a new town hall is available here and at www.townoflitchfield.org.