Wilkus Property Topic Of Discussion

Wilkus Property Topic Of Discussion

There are 4 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Apr 29, 2009, titled Wilkus Property Topic Of Discussion. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

The proposal, which will be voted on at referendum May 12, calls for the town to purchase approximately 81 acres in three parcels on Willow Street and Thornbush Road for about $3.5 million, using a $490,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

Not Sure

Newington, CT

#1 Apr 30, 2009
If what I understand to be true is, Vote Yes, but do not take any of the State's money, or else nothing can be done with the property unless the state first approves of it. To me, that's a receipe for disaster. I don't want the state of CT deciding what to do with the land in my town. I say buy the land, but DO NOT accept State funds. If the town is going to buy the land, then just buy it and the people will decide what to do with the land in the future. Let's secure it for our kids to make a park, bike/walk paths, or jusr keep it open space. Remember you can't even put up a storage building without the state's permission.There's no rush on deciding what to do with it. The property is worth a lot more than 3.5 million if some builder gets a hold of it. Then we will have more homes which means more kids, then bigger schools neeeded and then your taxes will go up a lot more. Think before voting NO.
I think not

Rocky Hill, CT

#2 May 4, 2009
I think most people agree with the open space, it is the price being questioned. I dont know what your background is, but I am not sure the land is worth the 3.5 million the supporters say it is. Please educate yourselves regarding the appraials and the amount of approvals necessary for a builder to do anything with the land. I am not sure from what I have read if they would ever be able to get the approvals
Not Sure wrote:
If what I understand to be true is, Vote Yes, but do not take any of the State's money, or else nothing can be done with the property unless the state first approves of it. To me, that's a receipe for disaster. I don't want the state of CT deciding what to do with the land in my town. I say buy the land, but DO NOT accept State funds. If the town is going to buy the land, then just buy it and the people will decide what to do with the land in the future. Let's secure it for our kids to make a park, bike/walk paths, or jusr keep it open space. Remember you can't even put up a storage building without the state's permission.There's no rush on deciding what to do with it. The property is worth a lot more than 3.5 million if some builder gets a hold of it. Then we will have more homes which means more kids, then bigger schools neeeded and then your taxes will go up a lot more. Think before voting NO.
Please consider a NO vote

Rocky Hill, CT

#3 May 4, 2009
I am someone that has lived in town all my life, value open land and would love to preserve this land, but I do have to say at what cost.

The opponents have made some very valid points regarding the fact that the most recent appraisal of 12/08 for 3 million clearly noted that the market value was "predicated on the ability to obtain land use variances from all of the agencies that control the land use". That includes at least approvals from 5 agencies, Wethersfield Planning & Zoning, Inland Wetlands, DEP, Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.

In addition, if the towns own 2008 revaulation came in at 1.7 million or 1.1 million of assessment, where did they come up with the 3.5 mil.?

Average cost of open space in CT is roughly $6,000.00/acre

I am not asking you to vote no against the open space, just to think about the facts from both sides before placing your vote
NoVoter

Wethersfield, CT

#4 May 4, 2009
Vote NO for these reasons:

The price is way too high given the town's appraisal and market conditions.

The open space money approved by voters a few years ago would be depleted and other parcels that actually are developable could not be purchased.

Much of the land is unable to be developed and the developable parts would require multiple levels of town, state and federal approval which would be very hard to obtain.

Using state money would restrict usage forever to passive recreation and the town would lose control over the land. Forever is a very long time. Who can predict what uses may be desirable 100 years from now? Why bind the town's hands in perpetuity?

We will lose actual tax dollars currently paid by the owners. The "risk" of development costing the town money is purely theoretical. There is no evidence specific to Wethersfield that if homes were built it would be a net cost to the town exceeding taxes collected. Has anyone crunched Wethersfield numbers or do they just rely on general numbers from who knows what studies? The image of hoards of students crowding into our schools is a scare tactic without basis in facts pertinent to Wethersfield.

Wethersfield has enough trails and passive recreation in Millwoods, the meadows, and Wintergreen Woods. These resources are actually underutilized. Do we really need to pay all that money to assure another place to just traipse around in town?

Wethersfield just can't afford the purchase price right now. Without paying a dime, that land is going to stay largely undeveloped for a very long time in this economy. Why not just negotiate with the owners for a right of first refusal at some later date if actual purchasers who are developers come on to the scene?

Vote NO.

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