NEW LONDON–Jury selection is scheduled to start Tuesday, May 10, 2005, for a trial on the fate of the 75-acre Merritt property on Fort Hill in Groton.

The trial seeks to determine whether Ravenswood Construction LLC, of Cheshire, has a valid contract to buy the property from F.L. Merritt Inc. GOSA maintains that Ravenswood does not have a contract, written or otherwise, and that GOSA’s contract with Merritt–signed by Merritt and GOSA April 14, 2003–is the only one that exists.

GOSA won a $650,000 state grant in April 2003 toward the $1 million purchase price of the land.

Judge Seymour L. Hendel will hear the case. He is at the court Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The first several days of the proceedings are expected to concern selection of jurors. Presentation of evidence appeared likely to start May 17.

Ravenswood proposes to build 48 houses on the tract, which lies south of Route 1 between the summit of Fort Hill and Fishtown Road to the east. Developers first applied for a 79-lot subdivision on the land in June 2000, but the Inland Wetlands Agency and Planning Commission reduced the number allowed to 48.