Fairfield County Bank has turned down the town’s offer to purchase the property at 48 Norfield Road.
Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said she made an offer of $610,000, on behalf of the town of Weston, to Paul McNamara, chairman of Fairfield County Bank’s board of directors, but the offer was declined.
The offer was made pursuant to a Town Meeting vote, held Tuesday night, June 25, at which voters approved a maximum purchase price of $610,000 for the property — $140,000 less than the selectmen had asked them to approve.
Fairfield County Bank, which owns the property due to a foreclosure, had originally wanted around $1 million for the house. The bank has about $1.2 million in debt on the property, Ms. Weinstein said.
The Board of Selectman brought that number down to $750,000 — a number the board felt comfortable bringing to voters, according to Ms. Weinstein.
At the Town Meeting, resident Tom Failla called for an amendment to the motion and asked for a $610,000 maximum purchase price in light of the fact there were estimates of around $280,000 for needed property repairs and upgrades.
He said he would like to see the town “split the difference” and ask the bank to lower its asking price by $140,000, half the $280,000 amount. The amended motion passed in a 43-34 vote.
Ms. Weinstein warned residents at the Town Meeting that she did not believe the bank would accept anything lower than $750,000. When the amended motion passed, she said she would do her best to negotiate the offer for $610,000.
She was disappointed the bank rejected the town’s offer. “It makes sense for the town to own that property. It’s uniquely situated and fits in with the plan of development. I hope the voters at the Town Meeting weren’t penny-wise and pound foolish,” she said.
She said Mr. McNamara will ask the bank’s board of directors if they want to make a counter offer to the town. If there is a counter offer, Ms. Weinstein said the selectmen will consider it, and if their vote is positive, will bring it to another Town Meeting vote in September.