Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



July 14, 2020

Sen. Osten Welcomes State Bonding to Remediate Former Norwich State Hospital Brownfield, Kick-Start Economic Development

EASTERN CONNECTICUT – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today welcomed her long-sought release of $7 million in state bonding for the Town of Preston to finance environmental remediation on the site of the former Norwich State Hospital – a site which Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has proposed developing into a 393-acre, non-gaming regional tourist attraction.

The grant, released through the state Department of Economic and Community Development, will be held in escrow and will only be utilized for any pending remediation work after a cost-efficient remediation plan is instituted. The property is contaminated with asbestos and ash from a coal-fired heating plant at the former state hospital.

In May 2016, the Mohegan Tribe reached an historic agreement with the Preston Redevelopment Agency to purchase and develop the 393-acre riverfront site into “Preston Riverwalk,” a non-gaming destination including outdoor and indoor attractions, hotel and retail space, restaurants, housing, a marina, an RV park, and more.

“This bonding could not come at a better time. The region’s economy has been battered with unemployment, and tourism is at a standstill thanks to the coronavirus. This funding, which I have been seeking for more than a year, is the lynchpin to private-sector development which is going to grow jobs and will be a regional engine for the economy once this pandemic has passed,” Sen. Osten said. “I want to thank the Mohegan Tribe for its vision and commitment and patience, and I want to thank the governor and the bond commission for recognizing the value of this project, and for recognizing the state’s responsibility to cleaning up this site. It’s always a win-win when we can clean up the environment and get a valuable, unused piece of land back on the local tax rolls, and back into private-sector development, with the ultimate benefit of more jobs for eastern Connecticut.”

The State Bond Commission is expected to meet via teleconference at 11 a.m. on July 21, 2020, in the Old Judiciary Rom of the State Capitol in Hartford.