June 25, 2008

Hamden to Pay $880G for Open Space?

By Mark Brackenbury

By Herb Epstein Special to the Register

HAMDEN -- Hamden plans to purchase 40 acres of open space from the Victor Shanok trust for $880,000.

The Shanok property bridges Brooksvale Park and the Naugatuck State Forest.

"It is an extremely valuable piece of land," said Scott Jackson, chief administrative officer for Mayor Craig B. Henrici.

The acquisition of the open space will be financed by $160,000 from the Regional Water Authority, $335,000 from the state, and $385,000 from the town.

"We have to schedule a closing time," said Jackson. "There are some legal issues and no specific date is set, but possibly within the next few weeks."

The Natural Resources and Open Space Commission has worked with Hamden on the purchase of the land.

"We look for property that is appropriate for preserving for open space," said Mike Horn, chairman of the Open Space Commission.

"We try to acquire it for the town or state."

The area will remain open and preserved and will be there for generations.

"It has a range of diverse habitats," said Horn. "It's an excellent habitat for the animals that are indigenous to the area."

Horn added that "we will preserve it for generations to come, not just for the people, but for the plants and animals as well."

The land is there for kids to go fishing and bird watching, said Horn.

"We speak on behalf of the defenseless plants and animals," said Horn. "We preserve it for the people."

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