November 28, 2021

Departure of Shoreline Clinic Would Not Cost Essex Revenue

ESSEX— The anticipated departure of the Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Clinic would not cost the Town of Essex tax revenue because the 10.4-acre site in Westbrook Road is tax exempt.

Tax Assessor Jessica Sypher said Friday the clinic property, including land and buildings, is tax exempt and not included on the town’s grand list of taxable property. Sypher said the property is covered by the state’s Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) program, where the state makes an annual payment to cities and towns for properties on the PILOT list.

The amount, which is subject to change by a vote of the General Assembly, usually equals about 45 percent of the tax revenue that would be generated if a PILOT parcel were included on the grand list. The State of Connecticut recently sent the town a check for $16,032 as the annual PILOT payment for the clinic property

Harry Evert, vice-president of operations for Middlesex Hospital, confirmed this week the hospital is planning to relocate the clinic to a site closer to Interstate-95, either in Old Saybrook or Westbrook. The relocation is not expected to occur until about two years in the future, with the hospital first required to win zoning approval for a site in a different town and then construct the new clinic building at the new location.

Sypher said she believes the town would continue receiving the PILOT payment as long as the property is owned by Middlesex Hospital. The property, which is located in a residential zone, would be assessed and included on the grand list if it was sold to a private interest.

The Shoreline Clinic has operated in Essex since the early 1970s on land that was donated by the late Fred Knapp, a retired industrialist who lived in a house on the pond located near the clinic site.