Southbury Legislators Applaud Passage of Bill Preserving Southbury Training School Land

May 30, 2013

Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) and Senator Rob Kane (R-32) applauded the Connecticut State Senate’s May 30 passage of a bill which will preserve and protect land owned by the Southbury Training School and ensure its continued use for agricultural purposes.

The bill reinforces a long-standing commitment on the part of the state to preserve the property, and continue its agricultural use.

“This bill will preserve the Southbury Training School land for agricultural use and its success is really a tribute to Rep. O’Neill’s hard work and determination,” Sen. Kane said. “The senate passed the bill unanimously and it now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature. We hope this policy becomes a model for the preservation and agricultural activation of other land across Connecticut.”

“This policy was originally placed in state statute as a result of legislation that I introduced more than 20 years ago,” said Rep. O’Neill. “Unfortunately the second purpose has not been fulfilled. For a number of years I have proposed legislation in keeping with the recommendations of the task force that studied the future use of Southbury Training School Farm and other state owned agricultural lands. The key recommendation of the task force was that a private party be given control over the land for the purpose of encouraging and facilitating long-term agricultural use. For a variety of reasons the state agencies charged with this task were unable to implement it. Partly this was a result of state leasing policies and partly a result of the fact that encouraging agricultural use of these lands was not a core mission of any of the agencies involved.”

O’Neill and Kane thanked the Department of Agriculture, and the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for their assistance in seeing the bill through. In March, O’Neill, Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry, Southbury First Selectman Ed Edelson, and Southbury Board of Selectman member Chad Landmon submitted testimony to the legislature’s Environment Committee in support of the measure.

The bill is House Bill 6542, An Act Concerning the preservation of Farmland at the Southbury Training School.