Surety provider Arch Insurance will take over costs and oversee construction of a stalled minor-league ballpark in Hartford, Conn., according to an agreement in principle that Mayor Luke Bronin and the Hartford Stadium Authority announced.
The city will pay the remaining $4.4 million out a construction fund as part of the agreement but no more beyond that, Bronin told reporters late Tuesday. Overruns have pushed the project cost beyond $70 million.
"It was our goal to make sure that we do not borrow any more taxpayer dollars," said Bronin.
Dunkin' Donuts Park, just north of downtown, was to open in April, in time for the Hartford Yard Goats' inaugural season in the Class AA Eastern League. But the team had to play its entire home season elsewhere, with most of the games moved to opponents' ballparks.
The team is a Colorado Rockies' affiliate. It has previously been based 12 miles away in New Britain, Conn.
City and team officials hope the Hartford ballpark will be ready for the 2017 season.
Architectural firm Pendulum was scheduled to return to the ballpark this week to survey the ballpark and finish construction.
Bronin over the summer had accused Arch of foot-dragging.
"Despite all the distractions, threats, and gamesmanship, we've stayed laser-focused on getting Arch Insurance to take over construction of the ballpark, because it's the best result for Hartford and for Hartford's taxpayers," said Bronin. "Arch has not yet taken full responsibility, but by formally engaging the architect, they've taken a significant step forward in that direction."
Bronin in May called a $47 million performance bond on developer Centerpiece Construction Co. of Middletown, Conn. The city has since fired Centerpiece, although Arch, under the new agreement, could rehire that firm. Centerpiece, in return, has sued the city.