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Madison Beach Hotel To Town On $11,000 Grassy Strip Deal: Thanks But No Thanks

Proposed deal to allow hotel use town-owned grassy strip of land for $11,000 turned down, selectmen's meeting to discuss and take action on deal cancelled, town officials say they will continue to discuss options with hotel.

 

A proposal to let the Madison Beach Hotel use a 6,150-square-foot grassy strip of town-owned land in front of the hotel, in exchange for $11,000, has been turned down by the hotel, town officials said Tuesday afternoon.

has been cancelled as a result.

"There will be no special meeting," said First Selectman Fillmore McPherson Tuesday. "The hotel is not interested in the offer we were going to talk about."

Hotel might be interested in deal that would allow for occasional use

McPherson said the hotel might be interested in renting it for occasional use over the course of the summer season. "I'm asking the Beach & Recreation Commission to come up with a proposal that would allow them to do that, and to bring that proposal to the selectmen for review. We would want to take a look at it to make sure that all legal and financial concerns are addressed."

The grassy strip of land in front of the hotel has long been used informally by hotel guests during entertainment functions, and has been used as an occasional staging area for equipment during the years-long renovation and rebuilding of the hotel. Several years ago, the town proposed a land swap involving the grassy strip, and other parcels nearby, but that was turned down by voters.

In June 2011, . That deal would have given the hotel the grassy strip, in exchange for $100,000 and a parcel of land adjacent to the town-owned West Wharf Beach across the street. That proposal was never resolved. While it's not officially off the table, town officials said, it no longer is a proposal that is being actively discussed.

Latest proposal would have required $11,000 seasonal fee

During a meeting last week, the town's Beach & Recreation Commission voted to officially offer a proposal that has been under discussion for many months, one that would allow the hotel the use of the grassy strip on a seasonal basis, in exchange for a rental fee of $11,000. The deal would have required a contract and legal review, a process that would have to be managed by the Board of Selectmen, so the selectmen scheduled a special meeting Thursday morning to gather public comment, then discuss and take action on it.

The Beach & Recreation Department, in the meantime, sent a communication to the hotel proposing the deal and Tuesday received a communication back that the deal was not acceptable to the hotel. The hotel had earlier offered an alternative deal, one that would have allowed the hotel to use the grassy strip for about $2,000 a season.

Beach & Recreation Commission Chairman Tom Banisch Tuesday afternoon said wasn't sure how an alternate deal, one that would allow the hotel to rent the grassy strip on an event-by-event basis, might be structured.

Permanent certificate of occupancy still not in place

"I don't see how it's possible, but I'll be sure to take a look," he said.

First Selectmen McPherson also said Tuesday that the hotel still does not have its permanent certificate of occupancy and that he doesn't think an inspection for one has been scheduled."Not that I'm aware of," he said.

Hotel officials had planned to have the hotel open by last May, but instead relied on a series of temporary certificates of occupancy to get them through their summer weddings and events. .

Series of events from May 5 to September 9 already booked

In addition, they said, they intend to have the restaurant and spa open by that date as well. Finish work is currently being done, they said.

The hotel has a series of 22 weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers, brunches, and other events planned, starting May 5th with a wedding for between 75 and 100 people, and running through September 9.

Hotel officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday about the specifics of the grassy strip deal.

Herb April 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The following in quotes is a direct copy of an article published in the New Haven Register. I'm confused has to who the leaders of out Town of Madison really are??? "Banisch said Monday that the Board of Selectmen wanted to get involved, but he felt the decision should fall with the Beach and Recreation Commission. At stake is the town’s liability, according to Banisch. “If someone is on their property, has too much to drink and falls onto ours, we become liable for that,” he said, adding that he was concerned about lack of communication with the new hotel manager." --- We agree there may be a lack of communication on the part of the hotel management, but I would have thought the obligation is to the Board of Selectman(BOS), our elected officials, not Beach & Rec (an appointed board). Certainly contracts, proof of insurance, and "Hold Harmless agreements", should be negotiated and signed by our BOS.
Robert Squire May 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I think a simple "hold harless agreement" with no money attached should suffice. This is a magnificent property and really puts Madison on the map. Let's have a little cooperation. Bob S. from Meriden
Matt May 18, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Waivers, agreements, and other pieces of paper are meaningless wastes of ink. Anyone can sue anyone regardless of some stupid piece of paper.

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