ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT


Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


image
Christopher Zajac Record-Journal
Cerrito's Auto Sales & Repair is now conducting business at 280 North Colony Street in Wallingford, Jan. 13, 2014. Cerrito's was forced to move from its former location at 180 North Colony Street when the state took the property by eminent domain on Dec. 4, 2013 for the new train station. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal

Wallingford business taken by eminent domain moves nearby


WALLINGFORD — A business on property taken by eminent domain last month as part of the NewHaven-Hartford-Springfield rail project has moved nearby.

The new location of Cerrito’s Auto Sales is 280 N. Colony St., the former home of Super Sales Inc. A large sign in the driveway of its former home, 180 N. Colony St., directs customers to the new location.

It was business as usual for owner Chris Cerrito on Friday. In the new location, Cerrito’s has a showroom, displaying classic automobiles. He declined to comment for this story.

In December, the state acquired 180 N. Colony St. to use as a parking lot for a planned new train station on North Cherry Street.

State law requires the Department of Transportation to give reasonable notification to property owners before acquiring property through eminent domain. The state is required to pay fair market value for the property. Relocation benefits, including the cost of starting a new business, are also provided.

Cerrito publicly fought the state’s attempt to take his land and was supported by several local and state officials, who suggested the state should acquire other vacant property for the parking lot.

During a public information session on the rail expansion plans hosted by the Town Council in May, Cerrito yelled from the back of the council chambers that his property was not for sale.

“What they did to him was unfair,” said state Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican whose 34th Senate District includes Wallingford.

Town Councilor John LeTourneau also supported Cerrito’s attempt to remain at 180 N. Colony St., but was glad Cerrito was able to find a new location so quickly.

“That’s the bright spot,” LeTourneau said. “He moved close by and people will find him.”

LeTourneau understood Cerrito’s reluctance to move and risk losing customers.

“He’s one of the hardest working business people I know so I really do hope it works out well for him,” LeTourneau said.

Cerrito was informed in early 2013 of the state’s intentions to use eminent domain after negotiations failed. The property at 180 N. Colony St. was first identified as a possible train station parking lot at a public meeting in 2011, state officials said.

According to state law, the DOT “can acquire property necessary to construct and maintain commuter parking facilities in the same way as for state highway” and “can take property necessary for the operation or improvement of transportation services ...” And, as necessary, it “can acquire land or rights of entrance and exit from land abutting certain projects regarding structures around tracks in the same way as for state highway purposes.”

evo@record-journal.com (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ



Back to WallingfordNews
Top Stories of the Week

1,200 Wallingford students absent for makeup school day after April …
WALLINGFORD — About 1,200 students and “less than 40 teachers” were absent from school Friday, the only school day of the week due to April … more ...

Meriden police investigating armed robbery outside Panera Bread …
MERIDEN — A woman was robbed at gunpoint Sunday afternoon while standing outside a restaurant in the Townline Square plaza on Route 5, police said. … more ...

Southington looking to open town doors to craft breweries …
BRISTOL — Patrons started showing up to the taproom at Firefly Hollow Brewing around 2 p.m. Thursday, the day for regulars, according to brewery owners. … more ...

Food Truck Fest draws thousands to Meriden’s Hubbard Park …
MERIDEN — The newest addition to pre-Daffodil Festival weekend, the U.S. Food Truck Fest entourage drew thousands to a sun-soaked Hubbard Park Saturday, in combination … more ...

Police: Cheshire man stole father’s $24,000 coin collection, paid drug …
CHESHIRE — A local man scheduled to appear in court next month faces multiple charges involving the theft of a coin collection from his father … more ...

Comments