Senator Kissel: DOT “Rest Area-Welcome Center” At Trinity Farm Will Not be Pursued

October 3, 2007

Meeting arranged by Sen. Kissel leads DOT to pull site from consideration

In a follow-up to a meeting arranged by State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) last month with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT), local officials, and Michael Smyth, owner of Trinity Farm in Enfield, the DOT has indicated that Trinity Farm “does not appear to be a viable location” for a new state Rest Area-Welcome Center along Interstate I-91 Southbound in Enfield.

Sen. Kissel arranged the meeting on August 28 at Mr. Smyth’s request with representatives of the Farm Bureau, Enfield town officials and the DOT’s Bureau of Policy and Planning and Earth Tech. DOT’s preliminary statewide study of program needs for providing Rest Area and Service Plaza services to the traveling public had included part of Trinity Farm as a possible location.

In a letter sent to Mr. Smyth the DOT stated that “Based upon your input, the Trinity Farm location does not appear to be as viable a location for traveler services as was originally thought. There are conflicting state initiatives associated with locating a Rest Area/Welcome Center at this location, such as the need to preserve open space and farmland.” In addition, the DOT stated that locally produced products, such as milk that Trinity Farm provides to Connecticut residents, are in concert with the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“I am very pleased that Trinity Farm is no longer an option in DOT’s search for a new rest area location,” said Sen. Kissel. “The credit really needs to go to Michael Smyth and those who attended this meeting to provide the detailed information that DOT needed to come to this conclusion. This is a case that shows when people come together, good things happen and everyone should be commended for their efforts.”

Sen. Kissel acknowledged the desire of the DOT to construct a welcome center along the I-91 corridor. He said local officials, including Enfield Town Planner Jose Giner who is a member of the Statewide Rest Area and Service Plaza Study Advisory Committee, will continue to work with the DOT to ensure that all information is available to the department and the public when assessing preliminary locations.