GROTON — The Town Council vote on the NE Edge Data Center Host Municipality Fee Agreement — scheduled for Wednesday — was unexpectedly canceled by the applicant, Thomas Quinn, on Monday.
Quinn had previously pushed for a quick vote by the council members, who only received final drafts of the host fee agreement on Friday.
According to an email from Town Manager John Burt to council members late Monday afternoon, Quinn canceled the vote in order to allow the town more time to complete its due diligence.
“… he has requested that the Council cancel the vote on Wednesday, and take the time we need to do this correctly,” Burt wrote.
In his email, Burt said that he had been on the phone with Quinn and Chris Regan, owner Regan Enterprises LLC, who is involved in putting the deal together.
“I had been letting them know along the way that I had concerns. I’ve let them know where I’m at currently and went through concerns that I have heard from the public,” Burt said.
Quinn was “very understanding of the concerns,” Burt said.
“He would also like some time to propose a few additions to the agreement to help with concerns,” Burt wrote.
In a text to CT Examiner Monday, Burt said he didn’t know what additions Quinn would propose.
“He said he will submit something to the town soon,” Burt wrote.
In his email to the council, Burt said that “while the delay could diminish the interest of the current data center looking at Groton, Tom will do what he can to keep the interest going for as long as he can.”
Burt said that if the council is interested in continuing the process, he recommended hiring a sound consultant to work with the town.
Burt suggested allowing public comment at Wednesday’s meeting ” to allow as much input as possible.”
The original plan for Wednesday’s meeting was not to include public comment, but Burt confirmed by text that there will be public comment at the meeting.
Councilor Rachael Franco told CT Examiner that the developer had asked for an expedited vote and that she’d been okay with allowing Quinn’s request, though she did not know which way the vote would have gone.
“I think there are things within the host agreement that need more time, to do our due diligence as a town to get more information. I think that’s a good thing,” Franco said.
Mayor Juan Melendez Jr. said he thought more time was necessary to make a decision.
“There were a lot of unanswered questions that I had and that the community had. And I think this extra time will allow us to get those answers,” he said.
Councilor Portia Bordelon told CT Examiner that she was glad the process was being slowed down, as was previously requested by several councilors, she said.
“I encourage all citizens that have taken the time to accommodate this spontaneous meeting that was decided with less than a week’s notice, to come out and express their concerns,” Bordelon said. “Hopefully we will have a true public hearing.”