Connecticut Water to Transfer Killingworth Land for Permanent Open Space

0

CLINTON – Connecticut Water Co. has finalized a memorandum of understanding with four municipalities, including Killingworth, to transfer six parcels no longer needed for water supply purposes to be permanently retained as spaces open.

This involves the Borough of Naugatuck, the Town of Prospect, Killingworth Land Conservation Trust and Bethany Land Trust according to a press release. The plots, which range in size from eight to 19 acres, for a total of approximately 82 acres, are intended to provide passive public recreation, including hiking, running, snowshoeing and bird watching depending on the location, he said.


“Since 2000, more than 1,200 acres of Connecticut Water Class III lands have been permanently protected as open space, reflecting our commitment to environmental stewardship and our efforts to make these precious resources available to people. passive recreation,” President Maureen Westbrook said in a statement.

“Without careful consideration, these small Class III plots that are often located at the edges of large expanses of open space can be sold and developed for private use,” said Save the Sound attorney Kat Fiedler in the statement. “Once they’re gone, they’re gone.”

In 1999, Save the Sound (then Connecticut Fund for the Environment) and Connecticut Water worked with other parties on state laws that created greater opportunities for the permanent protection of water company lands that may be identified for disposal, CT Water said.

The law provides tax benefits to companies that donate or sell land to eligible entities at less than fair market value and encourages conservation sales of land, to facilitate such transactions, he continued. State law also requires notice to the state, municipalities, other water utilities and land trusts when water company properties are identified for disposal.

Those who receive the notification have 90 days to assess whether they are interested in making a purchase. During this time, water companies cannot notify or negotiate with other potential buyers, such as private developers.

Although the company had no plans to divest itself of its properties, when CT Water partnered with SJW Group in 2018, it contacted Save the Sound to discuss ways to provide additional environmental assurances regarding the lands of the water company to encourage the protection of open spaces and recreation.

Together they crafted a memorandum of understanding which was reflected in the Utilities Regulatory Authority’s approval of the combination with SJW Group, which secured an extended three-year process, completing the legal timeline. , to give to cities and land trusts that may be interested in the property. buys more time for information exchange, site visits, fundraising and evaluation by local decision makers.

The company has also agreed to consider expanding passive recreation for the public on some water company land, as part of another part of the 2018 deal with Save the Sound, he said. declared.

Share.

Comments are closed.