Cheshire historic commission withdraws request for grant to study house on town-owned property

Cheshire historic commission withdraws request for grant to study house on town-owned property


CHESHIRE — The Historic District Commission withdrew its request for a grant to study uses of the Stephen Ives house and instead is asking the town to preserve the building until fall while it looks for funding.

The late 19th century house is part of the Chapman property bought by the town last year. Town councilors plan to use the land next to Bartlem Park to relocate sports fields and rearrange parking for the high school. There was little Town Council support for the Historic District Commission’s request to apply for a $20,000 state feasibility grant.

On Monday, Commission Chairwoman Elizabeth Fox sent an e-mail to Town Manager Michael Milone asking that the application request be removed from that day’s Town Council agenda. On Monday, councilors voted on a town budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“We understand that the councilors are dealing with a difficult budget climate and lack of final information from the state,” Fox wrote. “We expect to come back in the fall with additional information on the house and funding opportunities. We ask the structure not be demolished and be made secure until that time.”

Fox declined to comment further.

“That’s all we’re going to say right now,” she said.

There aren’t any plans to demolish the house yet, according to Assistant Town Manager Arnett Talbot. Councilors will decide what to do with the property, including buildings, with input from the town staff and the public.

“I expect there will be several public hearings,” Talbot said.

Earlier this year, Fox told the council that the feasibility grant would allow the commission to study uses for the house. Councilors were concerned about renovation costs as well as maintaining the house if the town decides to keep it.

Town officials pitched the plan to buy Richard Chapman’s 10 acres for $3 million last year as a way to alleviate Route 10 traffic. Cheshire High School parking would be moved from Bartlem Park across the street to where fields are located. Those fields will be moved to the other side of Route 10 on park and Chapman land.

Town Council Chairman Rob Oris said councilors weren’t originally planning to save the house when they considered buying the land. He withdrew the grant application from the council agenda Monday night.
Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


Latest Videos