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Amerbelle Safety Work Moving Along, Mayor Says

The council approved the work in the fall.

Mayor George Apel on Tuesday said the work to make the old Amerbelle campus safe is nearly complete.

It was part of his report to the Town Council. Apel said Fire Marshal Ray Walker has been overseeing the work.

In September, the council voted unanimously voted to appropriate $75,000 to temporarily "secure and winterize" the property.

The building's ownership was not an issue until Amerbelle officials announced in June that the business was closing. In 2003, Amerbelle transferred ownership of the complex to the town, but the town then quickly transferred the deed to the non-profit Hockanum Industrial Development Venture Corporation, which has been serving as a rent-collector, Economic Development Coordinator Shaun Gately said.

The rent was just about enough to cover the taxes, Gately said.

Apel said he sought the opinions of Walker, Fire Chief William Call, Police Chief James Kenny and Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro and their "uniform" opinion was that the mill was "a public safety concern of the highest order."

The measures taken by the town were regarded as temporary to secure the property while plans for its future were laid out.

In October, interest in the campus was transferred to Bridgepoint Funding Alliance, LLC.

Bridgepoint has a 1 Gold St. address in Hartford, according to a real estate conveyance tax form. It specializes in in "adaptive reuse" projects.

Amerbelle sits at 104 East Main St.

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