Council OKs Plan to Sell Day St. Properties

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An overwhelming 13-1 Common Council majority voted for a plan that would allow the Norwalk Housing Authority to buy city-owned land around Washington Village Tuesday night.

The option agreement is part of a larger plan for the city to apply for a potential $30 million in federal grants, in an effort to overhaul the South Norwalk housing complex

"It looks like an economically depressed area," said Carvin Hilliard (D-District B), a South Norwalk council representative. "This project will change that."

The vote allows the Housing Authority to purchase 19 and 20 Day Street for $1, and eventually develop Washington Village into a mixed use and mixed housing complex.

"It's still in draft form," says Nicholas Kydes (R ), chair of the council's planning committee.

But the plan isn't without controversy.

"There hasn't been one meeting that's been open to the general public that's been publicized," said Norwalk resident Diane Cece.

Norwalk resident Ganga Duleep says it is "foolish" to rebuild the complex on a flood plain.

But Kydes says, "Part of the infrastructure development, once the project gets going, will take care of the flooding issues. Right now, we don't have the funding to take of those flooding concerns."

Bruce Kimmel (D-District D) said everyone he's talked to in South Norwalk sees the project as "something possibly great."

"I haven't had one constituent that lives in South Norwalk call me and was not in favor of this project," said Hilliard.

Anna Duleep (D-At Large) was the lone council member who voted against the plan.

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