Haddam Land Swap Agreement Being Sought

The DEEP and the partnership seeking 17 acres near the Connecticut River are still in negotiations.


The state is hoping to complete negotiations soon on a proposal to swap 17 acres it owns near the Connecticut River in Haddam for 87 acres in Higganum.

Officials with the are still in discussions with the owners of the Higganum land but hope to complete those talks “very soon,” DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said Wednesday.

While the land swap is still in negotiation, Schain said, state law allows the state to keep the appraisal information under wraps. Opponents of the land swap have requested the information but the state has denied those requests.

Schain added, however, that all of the appraisals done on both parcels, two appraisals for each, indicate that the state-owned land is worth more than the 87 acres of woodland in Higganum.

But Schain said that doesn’t mean the swap can’t still take place. Though state law requires any private property being swapped for state land be worth at least as much as the state land, the law includes provisions for owners of private property to offer money or additional lands to make the deal equitable for the state.  

The has been hotly contested by some residents and environmentalists who want to see the 17 acres, which the state bought in 2003 as conservation land, kept as public open space. The owners of the , a private banquet hall, proposed the swap because they want to develop the 17 acres, which abut their banquet facility property.

of the swap recently sought to force Haddam leaders to hold a town meeting on the proposal, but the Board of Selectmen earlier this month rejected that idea.

Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 02:26 PM
yes, they got that bank to give them loans on the land so that the land would have an inflated value, the money is probably sitting in said bank gaining interest and when the deal is done they'll get it back, took me a few to figure that one out, it goes like this "see DEEP, we have 2million in loans on that 87 acres and you know no bank would have given us that if it weren't worth that and therefore equal to your land" one of the stipulations in a state land quit claim is that they be pretty equal in value I'm pretty sure some laws have been broken there by the bank, if not they've been pretty slick about it, at the least we should boycott the bank.
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
and local news has covered it, they did the standard 20 seconds a few times, thats all you get, they do news from 5-6:30 and its the same stories over and over each about 20 seconds, then at 10 after you a weather teaser, just enough info to get you to watch to 22 after when you get the entire weather, and you start getting the news/weather teasers around 2pm in the afternoon, they never ever do any stories that would reveal anything about large corporations, their inner dealings with the state or organized crime, it would cut into their revenue. That is why the GOP is so hell bent on shutting down NPR, its the only news outlet that doesn't rely on corporate support alone so that it can be objective, they want to cut it off so it can be controlled as all other news is whether its CNN, Foxnews, or WTNH.
Keep the river front for all of us March 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Lorraine: The land was NOT GIVEN to the state.........WE bought it. There are too many of these land projects that never come to fruision or are built, fail and end up with closed, decaying buildings. Look at Frank Davis, Johnsonville, just to mention a few. I think when the state (you and I) sell, give, trade any property, that a plan must be approved AND if that projects fails, the State/town should get the property back. I'm sick of a selected few getting rich because the State/towns spend money carelessly. I also believe that if the River House uses its loan with Liberty Bank to show "value of the property offered" that it should be reported to the Federal Banking Commission...........forget reporting to the state.......we know what that accomplishes.
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM
That's an excellent idea. Obviously the bank is looking at funding the entire project and that would make them millions, with us footing most of the bill, that is how our govt works, nationally and locally, that is how foreign aid works, money is given that is never intended to be paid back, large corporations get the work ro the whatever and we get the bill. This is why we never get anywhere, everything is so geared towards "connected" businesses and nothing is geared towards the average small business. There have to be some major players involved though Goodspeed and elsewhere to pull this off.
prkrsttn March 24, 2012 at 01:42 AM
How would you feel if your town wouldn't let residents and taxpayers hold a town meeting? What is happening to our New England tradition where people can gather and listen to others? Why are residents of Connecticut being pushed around by playground bullies? Everyone should be up in arms over this horrible and disgusting land swap. Shameful, really shameful.


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