WINSTED – The Selectmen Board of Directors has scheduled an executive session for its Tuesday July 6 meeting to discuss potential strategies in a lawsuit against Laurel City Revamp.
According to the state’s judicial website, the city has filed three separate complaints against the organization, which owns the former Capitol Products building at 35 Willow Street.
The three lawsuits against the nonprofit were filed by the city in November 2019 by city attorney Kevin Nelligan.
The non-profit organization was formed in 2010 by former selectman Michael Renzullo to rehabilitate distressed and underutilized properties.
The building was vacant for years after Capitol Products closed, but Laurel City Revamp purchased the building for $ 1 via a waiver deed in July 2011.
Ten years of agreements, regulations and lawsuits
In December 2011, a previous Board of Selectmen approved a plan by Renzullo to purchase $ 89,000 in tax liens for $ 25,000, then in May 2012, the organization cleared all current liens for the building.
In January 2015, Renzullo’s father, lawyer Patsy Renzullo, sent a letter to then-CEO Dale Martin, requesting a two-year extension of property taxes owed, $ 25,000 owed to the city, and a deferment of all property taxes until construction of the property is completed.
In response, city attorney Kevin Nelligan wrote Elder Renzullo that the city would proceed with the foreclosure, which was filed in Litchfield Superior Court in April 2015.
Patsy Renzullo responded to the foreclosure case by filing a counterclaim for $ 2 million in damages.
In January 2016, former managing director Robert Geiger said Michael Renzullo would have another chance to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure on the building.
At that point, Geiger said Michael Renzullo would have to submit a payment plan, but the existing approved terms between Michael Renzullo and the city would not change.
In May 2016, Geiger said Michael Renzullo had returned to the city with a different proposal for the property.
A pre-trial conference, one scheduled for December 2016 and another scheduled for January, has been twice delayed at the request of Patsy Renzullo.
In June 2017, the city announced it was ending its foreclosure case against Laurel City Revamp, with Patsy Renzullo dropping its counterclaim against the city.
It was announced that, as part of the city’s abandonment of the foreclosure lawsuit, Laurel City Revamp paid all of the back taxes it owed the city on the property.
In April 2018, Michael Renzullo put the property up for sale.
Thousands of dollars in back taxes owed
According to the city’s online tax database, the organization owes a total of $ 26,516.99 in back taxes on the 35 Willow Street property from 2016.
Separately, the organization owes the city $ 8,881.42 in back taxes on another property listed as being on Rowley Street / 5 Pell Road.
According to the state court database, the city filed three lawsuits against Laurel City Revamp in November 2019.
With the three lawsuits, the Nelligan city attorney says the organization violated various agreements with the city by not paying property taxes when due and by not making the Capitol Products building completely contamination-free.
The city is seeking to take possession of the property, in addition to being compensated for all legal fees.