What’s Appropriate Use For Former Landfill? Solar Panels, Manufacturing Plant, Luxury Condos?

The city’s Parks Commission tonight (Monday) at 6:30 is scheduled to take a second vote on Mayor Bill Finch’s proposal to construct solar panels on the old dump at Seaside Park. The board unanimously rejected the plan two weeks ago, but a second meeting and vote has been called to win approval. Black Rock City Councilman Rick Torres has led opposition for the proposed partnership with United Illuminating. During a 2011 mayoral debate (not attended by Finch), independent candidate Jeff Kohut and Republican nominee Rick Torres were asked about building along the former city landfill at Seaside Park. Here’s what they said, according to CT Post coverage:

When asked what they would like to see built in the acreage at the foot of Seaside Park that used to be the city landfill, Kohut said he would pursue construction of a manufacturing facility on the site.

Torres said it was absurd to use waterfront property for industry, as the city has historically done. “Let people that are willing to put up their own money down determine what can go there,” he said, adding that he would like to see luxury condos along Long Island Sound “if the market drives it in that direction.”



  1. Please do not insult dumps by calling this gem a landfill.

    Landfill suggests some human thought went into managing this. The only thought that ever went into the Seaside dump was digging a pit, filling it up with trash, setting it afire to burn it all off, and then starting all over again.

    It’s a dump.

  2. Why does anything have to go on this site? Why can’t the land just be passive with land and trees just like a park is? The thought of anything being built there is a sin when you see all the other vacant and abandoned property in Bridgeport. Snowflake Bill has something going with the UI, why would he sell us down the river on this deal? Message to Snowflake Bill, if someone on your staff negotiated this UI deal they need to be fired post haste. If you as mayor let UI dictate the terms of this screwing then you show why we need either a two-year term or the power to recall.
    Note to the Park Board, don’t fold up like an old camp stool, stick to your original position.

  3. Dump, landfill, toxic waste site, methane farm? Whatever you call it, as Gertrude Stein told us, a rose is a rose is a rose! Of course the fragrance or odor or stink depends on “time of decomposition after deposit.” But you knew that already.

    What Rick Torres mentioned at the South End meeting was such a site in Norwalk had been turned into a park for humans. Imagine that! Just takes knowing the level of contamination scientifically and figuring the expense of remediation … and then money.

    But when it comes to parkland, why did Mayor Bill ignore this parcel with a view of the Sound and Black Rock Harbor as a park site and select a site on Knowlton Street and the river for remediation that cost over $3,300,000 so far? Was that site contaminated from chromium processing, etc.? What type of certifications have been sought and issued by the State of CT DEEP? By now shouldn’t we have some community expertise on the issue? As well as a serious discussion as to where to spend the dear money available to deal with the concerns? Time will tell.

  4. This is getting pretty ridiculous. Like many cities, waterfront was used for industry through the 1900s. Doesn’t mean that can’t change.

    The dump has been closed, planted over and frankly looks pretty good either from Black Rock or Seaside Park. Agree with Fardy, what’s wrong wrong with land and trees where once was an eyesore?

    This really does not look too ethical. Why does it have to be there? Are there no other spots to stick these panels in the City?

    If the lease conditions as broken out on OIB earlier are true, this seems like a real sweetheart deal for UI and a dirty deal promoted by the Finch administration. The fact the City attempted to steamroll this through makes it look even worse.

    If the City brought this to the Parks Commission for a vote, did they tell them prior their vote had no teeth and was purely advisory?

    Now that the City has decided this is not parkland, why are they having another Park Commission meeting?

    Cynically, I expect they already have the votes on City Council and this is all academic. Sadly, I think most of the CC members are pretty dim and will spend more time discussing last night’s Oscar Awards than this.

  5. I would have to agree luxury condos would be a whole lot nicer to look at than Solar Panels. In this market though, I can’t see that as a realistic option.

    Why is the proposed rent for UI so low? What is going on? Why does this have to happen? I can’t see a good reason other than helping UI make their obligation to the 2020 20% thing. What a squandering waste of time and resources. Only In Bridgeport.

  6. Before today I have written it is the payments on the Solar panels and the fuel cell equipment that will likely bring in the money over the 20-year period frequently discussed.
    However, as further discussion in the community happens, it becomes clearer all benefit of future technological efficiencies will be the province of UI. That might mean radically lower-priced panels or replacement fuel cells will lower the UI assessment and therefore taxes to be paid. In that case perhaps the lease payments will be greater than the depreciated value of the then equipment and the City could receive much less than the illustrated $7 Million. That risk is born by the taxpayer, while the potential reward for efficiency goes to the UI shareholders, it looks like.
    Yet the risk of harm to UI workers at the site is born by City taxpayers as a “self-insured” entity? And the taxpayer is paying that unknown premium because of the language of the contract?
    What else about the contract would suggest a greater return to the City, or a more serious limitation on future changes by UI? Time will tell.

  7. My first choice would be keep the land as a natural park. Plant trees and flowers and make it a welcoming landmark for the City. So it is apparent I am agreeing with Andy Fardy. On the other hand, I have always believed the South End was ripe for upscale development on the waterfront as well as surrounding the University of BRIDGEPORT. Bringing life to the South End waterfront would be very impressive like the Shippan area of Stamford.

  8. Steve, you and I are in agreement on this one. The solar panels belong somewhere else and the South End needs some major upgrading and gentrification. Our city has done nothing and will do nothing as long as Finch is in office. He hates UB and would not see an upscale South End. Maybe that’s why his housing authority wants to relocate Marina Village to the vacant land near the arena.

  9. I agree with those who say Finch has something big personally to gain with this deal. Not sure what it is yet, but it will come out soon.

  10. *** Luxury Condos for people age 55+ would be the understatement of a lifetime towards giving something back to our lifetime taxpaying senior citizens! A project like that would have my approval 101% and would put that property on the tax roles and serve much more than just a minor political think “green energy” poster picture for UI and an over 20-year span, $7 million deal for Bpt. ***


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