Sen. Kane: Bill to Preserve Southbury Training School Land for Ag Use to Become Law []

June 6, 2013

Article as it appeared in

State Senate Approves Measure to Preserve Farmland at STS

by Maeve Slavin
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:07 AM EDT
SOUTHBURY — In the early hours of May 30, with days to go before adjournment of the current session, the State Senate unanimously voted to pass House Bill 6542, an Act Concerning the Preservation of Farmland at the Southbury Training School.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has stated his intention of signing this bill which protects between 800 and 900 acres of agricultural land at the Southbury Training School.

State Rep. Arthur O’Neill, R-69, has worked toward this objective for more than 20 years, when he first introduced legislation to that end.

State Sen. Rob Kane, R-32, commended Mr. O’Neill’s “hard work and determination.”

The bill, Sen. Kane said, “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.”

Tom Crider, president of the Southbury Land Trust, which has worked for this objective since 2004, welcomed the news, “after all these years, consensus has been building and this is the year the stars aligned and created the momentum to get us here,” he told Voices.

Mr. Crider said that the next step in the process, following the governor’s signature, will be a survey of the 800 to 900 acres of farmland which eventually will end up in perpetuity under a conservation easement which it is understood will be administered by the Southbury Land Trust.

Among those credited by Mr. Crider with responsibility for this successful conclusion are successive first selectmen of Southbury from the late Alfio Candido to Ed Edelson, Sen. Kane and Rep. O’Neill, “who deserves a lot of credit.”

A significant friend throughout, Mr. Crider said, has been state Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky who has said, “This western Connecticut resource is one of a kind and the ‘crown jewel’ of state agricultural properties.”

Gov. Malloy has announced formation of a special state-local task force to develop a comprehensive plan on the future use of the campus, as opposed to the agricultural component of the property.

First Selectman Edelson is among those selected, along with Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry, Commissioner Reviczky and two Southbury residents to be recommended by Mr. Edelson.