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Legislature Approves Haddam Land Swap

The state Senate and House approved the land deal by wide margins late Wednesday.

The hotly contested Haddam land swap was approved by lawmakers late Wednesday, clearing the way for the state to give the land overlooking the Connecticut River to developers in exchange for forest land in Higganum.

The Senate late Wednesday afternoon voted 31-5 in favor of the swap. The House late last night voted 90-58 to approved it.

The proposal, vehemently opposed by residents and numerous conservation groups, would see the state trade 17.4 acres of land in Tylerville to a development team in exchange for 87 acres of forest land that abut the Cockaponset State Forest in Higganum. The developers, who own the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, want the 17.4 acres for retail development that would complement their banquet facility.

Melissa Schlag-Proulx, who has spearheaded efforts to defeat the bill, said she was upset by what she described as misrepresentations of the land swap proposal by lawmakers who voted for it. 

"There's been a lot of mistruths and misinformation stated during the Senate proceedings, which prove this has not been properly vetted through any committee."

She also said one Senate amendment to the bill would require that the proposal be reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection. DEP Commissioner Daniel Esty has come under increasing criticism in recent days for not taking a public position on the land swap measure. The land was purchased several years ago using DEP land conservation funds.

The property is located off Bridge Street and overlooks a pivotal section of the Connecticut River that includes views of the river, an iconic metal swing bridge and the Goodspeed Opera House.  

Gene Bartholomew June 12, 2011 at 03:29 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connecticut-State-Park-Protectors/205161212828947#!/pages/Connecticut-State-Park-Protectors/205161212828947 Please check my page and see the two stories by Colin McEnroe and Kevin Rennie, the corruption runs very deep, Malloy needed Daily because she controls the Finance Committe, Esty had to sit by because his wife is running for office, not sure what the hell else is needed to launch ethics and corruption investigations.
Gene Bartholomew June 12, 2011 at 03:40 PM
No problem.
Boggins June 14, 2011 at 03:34 PM
This is a travesty! It's bad enough that the public has to fight for access in its Gold Coast towns and at other "tony" places up and down the CT Shoreline but taking this chunk out of a visually beautiful part of the CT river is unconscionable! I have land I'd considered giving to the state in perpetuity for the use of the DEP but after this misuse of a person's generosity, I will look elsewhere to conservation groups or the town itself to make that donation. I would've expected better from a Democratic governor. Shame on you and shame on the legislator who shoved this through!
Gene Bartholomew June 18, 2011 at 01:32 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Call-For-DEEP-Commissioner-Estys-Resignation/221254847898730#!/pages/Call-For-DEEP-Commissioner-Estys-Resignation/221254847898730?v=wall Join me in calling for Esty's resignation.
Pomeroy June 18, 2011 at 03:41 PM
There's not a chance that's going to happen. Let's put our efforts where we have a chance of succeeding - get our attorney general to review the deed as he is in the Cosco/Stanley New Britain deal. It really is the only chance of reversing this swap.

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