The city of Hartford will hold a public hearing April 22 on leasing the XL Center to the state, just three days before a critical deadline for finalizing the contract with the venue’s new manager.
The city council, which must approve the lease, had initially planned to hold the hearing Monday but ran up against a state statute that requires longer public notice when a lease or sale of property owned by a city or town is involved. The statute requires two notices of “not more than 15 days or less than 10 days of the hearing date.”
The city council then scheduled the hearing for May 20,the regularly scheduled date for public hearings. But that touched off a firestorm because the lease has to be finalized before April 25 or risk putting the state’s contract with its new manager, Global Spectrum, and the AHL in jeopardy.
The Capital Region Development Authority needs to complete the contract with Global Spectrum and, in turn, the AHL by April 25.
Jared W. Kupiec, chief of staff to Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, said he wasn’t aware of the more stringent public notice requirements for the sale or lease of property until early Wednesday.
“I was shocked as much as anyone else,” Kupiec told me, adding that the future of the XL Center has been a priority for the city administration since new bids were sought for its management last fall
The CRDA, whose board includes Segarra, approved the selection of Global Spectrum in early February.
The hearing on April 22 also will include the proposed sale of the Morgan Street garage to the state.
See my post from this morning.