Litchfield News

Selectmen set to decide between town hall proposals (11-06-18)

Decision time has come for Litchfield's Board of Selectmen.

The board meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Center School to determine if a $7.6 million plan to transform the former Litchfield County courthouse into a town hall or a $9.2 million plan to build a new town hall on the lot behind Town Hall should be on the ballot for a referendum tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4.

The referendum will also give voters a chance to consider a proposal to give the former Bantam School to the Litchfield Housing Trust for affordable housing. Under the trust's plan, the old school would be turned into 14 rental apartments and the grounds around the building would be used to build 10 single-family ownership homes. The housing is defined as "workforce housing," meaning it would be occupied by people who work and contribute to the community.

In considering the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust's proposal to give the old courthouse to the town for use as a town hall, selectmen will have to consider the trust's decision Sunday to lift two remaining conditions on the proposed gift. The conditions restricted changes to the facade of the building and to portions of its side walls. Last week, the trust lifted the condition that the building would have to return to the possession of the trust if its use as a town hall were to cease.

Selectmen were opposed to all of the conditions and have said the proposed gift should come with no strings attached. The GLPT, in a statement Monday, said it was willing to remove the conditions to alleviate the concerns of the selectmen and allow for the proposal to be brought to a referendum.

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