Preston Voters Reject $8 Million For Hospital Demolition

PRESTON, Conn. (AP) _ Preston voters have rejected an $8 million loan package to help finance demolition at the former Norwich Hospital, dealing another setback to efforts to redevelop the 190-acre site

The measure failed Tuesday in a 319-261 vote.

Preston now forfeits a $964,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

First Selectman Robert Congdon said voters have told officials to fence off the property. He says that is not in the best interests of Preston.

A majority of the Board of Finance opposed the loan package, expressing concerns about the liability the town would take on and possible insolvency if the agency isn’t able to sell the land to developers following cleanup.

Developing the site has long vexed local officials. Plans collapsed in 2007 for a $1.6 billion entertainment complex proposed by a New York developer.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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