July 21, 2009

Real estate panel: This time we mean it

Last July, city councilors said they were tired of delays and planned to buy an old stone house next to Rockwell Park for $218,000 within days.
Tuesday, exactly one year later, the city’s Real Estate Committee repeated the threat. But this time, its members said, they mean it.
“We want an answer one way or another,” said city Councilor Frank Nicastro, who chairs the three-person panel.
The city would like to buy the Dutton Avenue house where the Bevivino family has lived for decades, tear it down and use the property for the historic park.
It has already bought an adjacent lot from the family for $63,000.
The hitch has been that one family member, Jan Bevivino, has pleaded for time to arrange financing so she can purchase the family home instead. She lives there, but has siblings who are co-owners.
A judge gave Jan Bevivino until June 2008 to buy the house or it would be sold to the city or a private buyer.
That deadline proved too tight so city councilors agreed to wait. But they’re not willing to give her much more time.
“I reached the end six months ago,” said city Councilor Mike Rimcoski. “We bent over backwards.”
The committee has repeatedly said it doesn’t want to get in the middle of a family Lawyer Salvatore Vitrano, who represents the rest of the family in the case, has repeatedly said that Jan Bevivino’s failure to come up with the money gives the city a green light to move ahead with the deal.
Jan Bevivino has said she is trying to get the financing together. It’s been complicated, she said, but she is apparently still trying.
Vitrano said that a decision needs to be made by mid-August to bring the issue to a close.
The real estate panel, which consists of Nicastro, Rimcoski and Councilor Kevin McCauley – unanimously agreed Tuesday to make a decision at its next meeting, on Aug. 18.
Nicastro has said that buying the house would open up the entrance to Rockwell Park even further, leaving only a former gas station and a small apartment building for future city purchases to clear the way to both the park and Muzzy Field.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


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