Josh Solomon, the owner of the minor league New Britain Rock Cats, has paid the city $164,569.26 in back taxes for its baseball stadium, the city said in a press release.
“I am pleased that Mr. Solomon and the Rock Cats have done the right thing and reimbursed the City for the taxes they owe to Berlin,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said. “I wish we were never placed in this situation but, all things considered, this is a satisfactory outcome."
Earlier this summer, the Rock Cats announced a plan to move to the city of Hartford. That plan is still in flux: the city is considering two proposals from developers to build not just a stadium but an entire neighborhood, including a new municipal building.
How that gets paid for is still an open question. The move upset Stewart, who felt burned by Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Today's payment accomplishes a few things. First, it resolves a lingering conflict between the team and the city over taxes. It also means that the Rock Cats are not in default of their contract with the city, and that means that they will hold on to their right to extend their lease, should the plan to move to Hartford not come to fruition.
Clearly, Stewart is still unhappy.
Rock Cats paid up on delinquent taxes...
— Mayor Erin Stewart (@stewartfornb) August 20, 2014
"I told Mr. Solomon that, despite the manner in which the entirety of this deal has been conducted, I remain ready to work with the Rock Cats should they choose to stay here in New Britain," she said.