Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has withdrawn a resolution that would have bonded up to $60 million for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford.
City residents, and even members of the Hartford city council, have been openly critical of Mayor Segarra's plan that would fund a redevelopment project north of I-84 that includes a new 9,000 seat stadium. Now it appears city officials will seek a private partner to finance much of that money, in what Segarra described as a "public-private partnership."
The mayor withdrew the resolution in a letter to the city council, saying he still wants to redevelop the property, but "without placing additional tax burdens on Hartford property owners."
City Councilman Larry Deutsch had been opposed to the project, but now that taxpayers won't be footing the bill, he said he's open to the idea. Still, Deutsch said, the devil is in the details. "I'll give you just one example," he said. "Even if we [the city] don't build the stadium -- if the city winds up having to pay police overtime and sanitation after all the games -- that will mean the city is on the hook for those costs, and that means the taxpayers."
The mayor has been in private discussions with the New Britain Rock Cats for almost two years to relocate to Hartford. Critics have questioned the numbers that city officials have estimated in terms of jobs created and revenue generated by the proposed park.
Private developers have until August 1 to present their proposals to the city. The City Council could vote on a new resolution at their August 11 meeting.