(An allegedly actual Sasquatch, also known as bigfoot, not walking through Middletown.)
It's a dream headline that few journalists ever get to write, especially when it's true, unless you work for the National Enquirer, or the Weekly World News.
And it is true.
At a meeting of Middletown's Economic Development Committee meeting tonight, the EDC, and Mayor Sebastian Giuliano gave their permission for Synthetic Cinema International, and director Andrew Gernhard to film part of his next film, yes, Sasquatch Assault in and around abandoned buildings at the former Remington Rand buildings off Johnson Street.
Gernhard has had considerable success in writing, producing and directing b-movie horror films which have had limited theatrical release, but success in DVD release, foreign release and on the Sci-Fi channel.
The synopsis for Sasquatch Assault promises, "When a merciless bear poacher is caught and arrested...he and his truck are taken to a neglected precinct in the heart of the city. Unbeknownst to the authorities, the truck holds a deadly cargo in the form of a Sasquatch."
Prior to the meeting Gernhard confided that his company is in negotiations with a Japanese partner to create his first "A" release, an action film written and directed by a former Wesleyan student with a $6 million budget.
The production company plans to film the evenings of November 14-16.
In approving the filming some wag on the committee suggested that chairman Gerry Daley was angling for a role.
"Not me," Daley protested. "The mayor is the one who's the actor."
"Only if it's a Shakespearean sasquatch," Giuliano demurred.
But there was more important business which occured at the meeting.
Cucia Park RFP Issued
The EDC voted to issue an RFP for development suggestions for Cucia Park, the site recommended by the City for building the Army Reserve Training Center.
The RFP is open-ended, and the committee admitted it would entertain realistic development deals by any developer who thought the land was rife for development. However the main aim was to follow legal procedure so that the land could be offered to the Army, if the Army chooses it as its most favorable site. The RFP indicates that the fair-market value for the land is just over $3 million. City planner Bill Warner indicated that the Army does not negotiate and always pays fair market value, no more no less.
Amici Awning Approved
The owners of Amici restaurant were granted permission to construct an awning and non-permanent seating area adjacent to their restaurant on the walkway between the restaurant and the Police station on Main Street.
LEED Tax Incentive Approved for Addition to Town Code
Planning department employee intern Jennifer Weymouth, a graduate degree candidate for city planning at Antioch College, presented a plan to offer tax abatements to developers who meet LEED standards for green construction.
LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development, is an organization which certifies four levels of certification for green construction and operation of commercial buildings.
The proposed tax abatement of 10% for buildings which meet Platium or Gold levels, or Silver level buildings worth more than $5 million, is a permanent abatement which is issued in addition to all other applicable abatements. Theoretically, the additional value of the green building would make the loss of tax income negligible.
According to Weymouth, the tax abatement would be the first town in Connecticut to pass such an inducement, and would become a pioneer in green development.
The ECD approved the plan and directed Bill Warner to develop language which would come before the Common Council for approval.
In a final note, when councilor David Bauer asked how this incentive would be publicized, visiting Council member led a chorus of committee members who said, "The Middletown Eye."