Unless the city’s Board of Finance agrees to move ahead soon with a proposal to spend $205,000 to buy a three-decker house in front of Muzzy Field, the old home may be sold to a private owner, said Mayor Art Ward.
“We have to act immediately or we’re going to lose it,” city Councilor Frank Nicastro said.
The city’s fiscal overseers put off the 262 Park St. purchase last year because, they said, they needed more information about plans for the property if the city bought it.
Park Commissioner Tom Ragaini said that buying the house and knocking it down would “really open up Muzzy Field” so the historic ballpark could be showcased more easily.
The house is one of two remaining buildings between the ball field and Park Street. The city has already purchased and razed several others during the past decade.
Buying the two remaining properties would “open up that whole strip,” said Nathan Peabody, another park commissioner.
Ward said the owner of the 262 Park St. house, Richard Ferrucci, said he would wait until the end of January for the city to act. After that, Ferrucci intends to sell it through a Realtor, the mayor said.
The Park Department has long talked of creating a plaza in front of the ballpark that might include a small building to house the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame and perhaps more. Buying the Ferrucci property and the a triplex at 216 Park St are necessary first steps, officials said.
Park Director Ed Swicklas said he intends to appeal to the finance board to move ahead with the purchase this month. He said that finance officials “want a little more bite” to the plans before they agree to sign on.
Swicklas said he can tell the fiscal overseers in greater detail the history behind the proposal and what to expect in years to come.
The city's Real Estate Committee agreed in March to ask the mayor to negotiate with Ferrucci, who is seeking $200,000 for the house. Finance officials were asked to tack on another $5,000 to pay for closing costs.Both the Park Board and the City Council have given their blessing to the proposal.The 216 Park St. triplex has not been offered to the city, but officials said they want to make sure they are ready to buy it when it becomes available.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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