Fasano: Administration Rushing Harbor Development Agreement

February 10, 2020

Further Action Should Wait Until Protections in Place to Restore Trust in CT Port Authority


Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee and state senator representing New London, reacted to Governor Ned Lamont’s administration’s plans to announce a Harbor Development Agreement with the Connecticut Port Authority for the State Pier project in New London tomorrow.


Sen. Fasano said, “The process surrounding the Harbor Development Agreement needs to be transparent and open to ensure all voices are being heard and the end result is in the best interest of all residents. Unfortunately, what we have seen lately is a rushed process with the administration agreeing to concepts without a thorough or sufficient public review. On Saturday lawmakers were sent an email inviting them to attend a meeting on Monday at 5:00 pm to learn about a proposed deal. In the same email we were asked to join a press conference scheduled for less than 24 hours after that meeting. Instead of encouraging a thoughtful and careful dialogue and discussion, we saw an administration moving full steam ahead with a major plan without considering the input of the public or lawmakers. While a special meeting tomorrow morning is open to public participation, the administration has already scheduled a press conference just hours later to announce the agreement. So why pretend to consider public comment if this agreement is already baked? The process falls devastatingly short of what the public deserves.”


Sen. Formica said, “The indiscretions of the Connecticut Port Authority are still too fresh in all of our minds to simply turn ownership of the pier over to them without assurances that new members, extensive oversight and process controls are firmly in place. Senate Republicans are introducing a legislative proposal tomorrow that we believe is long overdue and reins in the actions of all Connecticut quasi-publics including the Port Authority with more transparency and oversight.”


Formica added, “We believe strongly that further action needs to wait until clear reforms are adopted to restore trust in the Port Authority. Everyone is hopeful that this project will bring important economic development to our state. Offshore wind has the potential to be the economic driver Connecticut needs to develop to support our growing manufacturing sector and move our state into the next generation of energy independence.  We want to see a plan that benefits all state residents and this may be the plan to do that, but we cannot rush into this without a thorough review and a strong plan to make sure the indiscretions of the Port Authority are addressed and public confidence is rebuilt.”