“Unexpected Surprises” — Not Exactly.
In December 2017, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to receive all government documents and communications regarding the Dillon Stadium project.
On October 8, 2018, we finally received a partial response from CRDA.
Here’s what we learned.
October 2017: Robert Saint, CRDA’s Director of Construction Services provided an estimate of $13,061,107 for the development of Dillon Stadium.
November 2017*: Bruce Mandell offers a total budget of just $7,300,000.
*This is when CRDA knew HSG’s budget was only 56% of the total project cost.
February 2018: CRDA lobbies for $10,000,000 in state bond funding to support Hartford Sports Group — while promising $2,000,000 to Colt Park improvements — in order to gain community support.
In theory, $8,000,000 would cover HSG’s budget of $7,300,000 while $2,000,000 was allocated to upgrade Colt Park — and earn the critical support of Hartford’s Los Amigos softball league, an influential Latino community group in need of new fields.
But CRDA already knew, by their own estimates, the stadium would need all $10,000,000.
September 24, 2018, CRDA claims “unexpected surprises” in the construction of Dillon Stadium — announcing costs to exceed $13,000,000.
….a new budget identical to CRDA’s original estimate.
CRDA votes for a funding plan of $14,000,000 for Hartford Sports Group’s plan — and taking the $2,000,000 for Colt Park’s improvements for the community.
The truth is CRDA knew the total price tag all along and there is no plan to keep their promises to the community to upgrade Colt Park.
“While on the witness stand in Bridgeport federal court, Mitch Anderson conceded that despite good intentions, he shouldn’t have taken public funds for his own endeavors."
— Hartford Courant