NORWALK, Conn. – The transfer of a city-owned parking lot lease from the Norwalk YMCA to Norwalk Hospital was unanimously approved by the Common Council on Tuesday but not before members of the public and the council expressed disappointment in how the item came before the group.
Councilman Fred Bondi, chairman of the council’s Land Use and Building Management Committee, hustled the lease transfer onto the council’s agenda without a chance for public comment or for council members to review the current lease.
Norwalk resident Diane Cece, who said she was curtly rebuffed by Bondi when she requested more information about the lease, urged the council to table the matter for more review.
“The process of how this was handled leaves a lot to be desired,” Cece said.
The Y is closing its doors at the end of the month, and the hospital is planning to buy its West Avenue facility. Both parties want to wrap up the lease transfer as quickly as possible.
Delaying the transfer means the Y would have to pay another month of the lease and maintenance costs of the lot when it is out of money, said former Mayor Frank Zullo, a local lawyer who represents the hospital.
“It’s the same lease that’s in place now,” Zullo said, adding that the hospital was not seeking any changes.
The Y pays nearly $5,500 annually to lease the lot from the city for parking, and the organization maintains it. The hospital would continue to do the same.
“This item was put on the agenda Monday,” said Councilman Warren Peña. “I think we have to be careful going forward, because if we allow this to become normal practice we will outrage the public.”
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