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 01:03 PM
Patch should open an X rated version so I can really let lose. ; )
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 01:23 PM
send your thoughts to: 60m@cbsnews.com
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 01:41 PM
What you could do is email 60Minutes (above) and send them as many links to relevant articles about the sham. Remember the cost of the land is just the first loss for town and state taxpayers, we will also be paying for water to be piped in, possibly sewers or a stand alone system, Eagle Landing will no longer be a State Park, it will be used by the theater and hotel and boats almost exclusively, the town will never see any gain in taxes from it, the only gain you're going to recieve is a daily traffic back up on both sides of the bridge.
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Perhaps the people making these decisions should take a ride to New London and look at the empty buildings we built for Pfizer and the empty lots where peoples homes once stood. Years from now when they look at the empty hotel and theater will they have learned anything about wisely using our tax dollars? Will they at least come to realize its OUR tax dollars and not theirs? We need infrastructure improvements not some boutique crap, show me the ROI for state taxpayers on this.
TZ March 23, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I want to know why this whole thing has not been on any local TV channels, they all boast to be "on your side", 60 Minutes is going to high, should be local...channel 3, 8 or 61. It's time.....
lorraine riess March 23, 2012 at 02:11 PM
This land swap is a betrayal of the land given to the state under the conditions that it would remain open space. The 87 acres owned by River House was recently used as collateral for a loan (see Haddam Bulletin). How can a swap even happen if the property is encumbered? Why did Liberty Bank approve this loan, knowing what was going on?
Gene Bartholomew March 23, 2012 at 02:22 PM
simple TZ, our news is BS and controlled, I mean really tnh is lame, if they actualy reported something real I'd be floored. They are designed to generate revenue, even the Weather, they're more about hype to sell commercial time than actual news, get the widow on the set, can we see the operation?, is their head dead yet?, film the blood, but they never actually fill you in on the facts.
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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