MERIDEN — The city is considering purchasing a Cook Avenue house along Harbor Brook that officials say is needed for ongoing flood control improvements.
The city has a pending agreement to purchase the house and .19-acres at 261 Cook Ave for $170,000. The acquisition is needed to widen and deepen a roughly mile-long section of Harbor Brook from Bradley Avenue to Cooper Street. The section is one of about six or seven that the city plans to widen as part of a larger flood control project, said Associate City Engineer Brian Ennis.
“The idea is we want to keep the water in the brook so it doesn't overflow...on the road,” Ennis said.
The parcel at 261 Cook Ave. is the third and final parcel the city needs to acquire for this section of the flood control project, Ennis said. The city has already purchased 260 Cook Ave. and 100 Meridian Street.
The City Council’s Economic Development, Housing, and Zoning Committee approved the purchase this week. It now requires approval from the full council.
The property includes a two-family house the city intends to use as a construction field office to save money on the project. It typically costs about $5,000 per month to rent a construction trailer, meaning the city will save upwards of $100,000 throughout the projected, estimated to take 18 to 24 months, according to Ennis. The property also includes a garage that will be demolished, said City Planner Renata Bertotti.
The property was appraised at $160,000 and $171,000 by two separate appraisals the city was required to obtain under the Uniform Property Acquisition Act of 1971 because the project is state-funded. The city offered the average of the two appraisals, $165,000, to the property owner, listed as Santos Rivera, who counter-offered with $175,000 before the two sides agreed on a sale price of $170,000.
This section of the flood control project is estimated to cost about $8 million, about $7 million of which will be state funded, Ennis said. The project is in the final design stage and Ennis hopes the city will secure a contractor for the project by the fall.
The money used to purchase the properties for flood control comes from city bond money, Ennis said.
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