Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Council rejects Blum counter-offer for Remington Rand

Last night, in an unheralded bit of business, Middletown's Common Council voted (10-1) to accept the bid of Thomas Briggs for development of the former Remington Rand (Noiseless Typewriter) factory.

This vote came despite another potential developer's protest that his bid was more feasible, and that he, Evan Blum, was willing to increase his bid to $1.5 million, which was around $350,000 higher than the Briggs bid.

Council debate showed a large majority of Council members citing a new ordinance about offering public property for bid which they claim constrained them from accepting higher bids on a property recommended by the Economic Development Committee. One council member cited the new ordinance while declaring that he hadn't read it.

After the last Common Council meeting, at which several members spent several minutes declaring that each city transaction would be closely scrutinized in order to save dollars, it's odd that no one would consider the possibility of accepting more money for a piece of city property.

The fate of the former typewriter factory remains in the hands of Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, since the council granted him the authority to strike the deal with Brigg's development company.

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