New London mayor announces opposition to port development plans

It was nearly a year ago that New London Mayor Michael Passero had expressed cautious optimism that the city was in line to reap some of the benefits of the planned overhaul of its port. After months of negotiations, The Connecticut Port Authority had agreed to a $157 million harbor redevelopment plan that would remake State Pier, thanks in large part to a partnership between the state and the joint venture of Danish wind company Ørsted and energy company Eversource. Passero was at the time hoping for an average of $1.3 million a year for city coffers while the wind industry was operating at the new facility. The city is now gearing up to oppose the redevelopment plan on several fronts, perhaps most importantly by planning roadblocks to the CPA’s permit application with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DEEP are crucial to making the State Pier transformation a reality. DEEP is expected to announce a date for a public hearing in the coming weeks. Negotiations for a host community agreement with Ørsted and Eversource have been stalled since March, Passero said. The transfer of State Pier property to the Connecticut Port Authority has left the city without a means to collect the $125,000 a year it was getting through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, program when it was owned by the state Department of Transportation.

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