Prospect considers purchase of 15 acres of water company land

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PROSPECT — Town officials are exploring the option to purchase a chunk of land from Connecticut Water Co.

The Town Council unanimously approved at a special meeting Saturday to authorize Mayor Robert J. Chatfield to sign a memorandum of agreement on behalf of the town to purchase 15 acres from the Connecticut Water Co. in the area between Salem Road and the end of Old Log Town Road.

Chatfield and the water company are expected to sign the agreement within the next 30 days. The proposal to buy the land would still have to go before a town meeting for approval, according to Town Council Chairman Jeffrey Slapikas.

The town will have two years — until about March 2024 — to decide if Prospect taxpayers would like to purchase the land for an estimated $20,500. The town has three CDs for open space purchases and another CD for land purchases with a combined $500,000 total, according to Chatfield.

Chatfield said town officials are still talking about what they envision for the land but they wouldn’t be allowed to build on it.

Robert Chatfield. Archive

“It has to be passive recreational,” Chatfield said.

The Town Council also approved for a property survey in the amount of $8,800 to be done before the proposed purchase of the land to see how much land the town would acquire and a $2,050 good faith deposit to signal the town would purchase the land. The deposit is refundable depending on the town’s approval, according to Slapikas.

Slapikas subsequently said water company representatives and Town Council members Megan Patchkofsky and Theresa C. Graveline and himself have walked the land which isn’t wetlands.

“It’s good open space for passive recreation,” Slapikas said.

Slapikas said the land is good for possible walking trails.

The water company reached out to the town a couple years ago and again at the end of last year about the land. The town wouldn’t be able to build on it but use it for recreational purposes.
“We can’t buy it and build houses and sell it,” Chatfield said.
A town meeting later this year most likely at the Community Center is expected according to Slapikas.

Chatfield said the purchase of the land is a good idea.

“It will give us control of unused property,” Chatfield said “It will not cause the water company any problems because we’re not building on it anyway.”