Deal done — Tiverton beachfront gas station is town property
TIVERTON — It was a complicated transaction, but the former gas station at 1837 Main Road abutting Grinnell's Beach now belongs to the Town of Tiverton.
The news was made public "with great pleasure" last Monday by Town Solicitor Andrew Teitz.
All the official documents, he said, would be recorded the next day.
"Most of us agree that conserving our waterfront is a great thing for Tiverton," said Town Council President Ed Roderick. "I hope everyone is happy. We've done our best to do something for the town."
Mr. Roderick said that a study, to be conducted by Roger Williams University, is in the works, that is looking at all the recreational possibilities for the building, including remodeling or demolishing it. It will also consider how the building space might be used, for example for kayak rentals.
The 11,760-square-foot gas station lot at the beach sits at the entrance to the Stone Bridge abutment that's slated for a $2.3 million renovation over the next few years.
The sellers were the New Hampshire-based Cutillo Family Realty Trust, whose principals — Stephen and William Cutillo — had long indicated their interest in selling the property to the town.
Both Mr. Teitz and Mr. Roderick specifically extended the town's thanks to the Cutillo Trust for their support of the town's goals.
The problem from the get-go in making the deal work was in finding the money, and in clearing multiple hurdles with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Department of Environmental. Management (RIDEM).
Mr. Teitz said the sales price was $400,000. Added to it, he said, were $16,313 in closing costs, that included a survey and environmental testing.
An additional $40,000 was needed to remove the underground gasoline storage tanks at the site, he said.
Town Department of Public Works Director Steve Berlucchi said two price quotes had already been received for tank removal. The tanks will be taken out in the next six months.
In all, said Mr. Teitz, the total cost for the property was $456,000.
On the funding side, he said, $200,00 would be coming from RIDOT, and $208,000 from RIDEM.
Another $100,000 was committed from the Tiverton Open Space Commission, Mr. Teitz said.
In all, on the funding side, there was $508,000 available, he said.
After the meeting had concluded, in an brief interview that she initiated, Council member Joan Chabot said that she was the sole member of the council to vote against the purchase.
"You're taking another paying property off the books," she said, referring to the tax proceeds that could accrue to the town if the property remained in private hands. "And you also could become liable for contamination issues," she said.