Mayor supports UConn land purchase bill

Mayor supports UConn land purchase bill


Mar. 28—MANSFIELD — A recent University of Connecticut land deal that nixed a housing development supported by the town angered Mansfield officials.

Now, the town’s representative in Hartford, State Rep. Gregg Haddad, D- Mansfield, is taking action. He is proposing H.B. No. 5495, a bill that reinstates a set of guidelines for UConn to follow when purchasing property.

At the state legislature’s government administration and elections committee meeting Friday, Mansfield Mayor Antonia Moran spoke in support of Section 13 of the bill, regarding UConn and the process by which it acquires land.

” We believe this bill is good public policy and will serve to protect the public interest in the long run,” she said.

Last year, UConn purchased land the Town of Mansfield wanted to be developed for affordable housing near the Mansfield Four Corners section of town, which is the intersection of routes 195 and 44.

Because UConn was willing to pay more than double the price, the landowner sold to the university as opposed to the housing developer.

This angered Mansfield officials, who have long had affordable housing in their plans and have indicated such in the town plan of conservation and development.

UConn publicly cited environmental concerns with the property, which abutted the campus, but many critics contended it was done to nix a housing complex that could have taken students away from on-campus housing.

It prompted worries that UConn could simply nix any proposed developments in town it didn’t approve of by utilizing deep pockets and outbidding developers.

” The initiatives in this bill would make it so that appropriate oversight is in place for property purchases like the one at Four Corners and make sure set guidelines are being followed,” Haddad said in a press release.

In the proposed bill, the state would reinstate the legislative program review and investigations committee.

If passed by the legislature, the bill would require purchases of real estate property by UConn to obtain the approval of the state properties review board, attorney general and state Office of Policy and Management.

MAYOR, Page 4

We believe this bill is good public policy and will serve to protect the public interest in the long run.

Mansfield Mayor Antonia Moran

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Mayor supports UConn land purchase legislation

Continued from Page 1

According to Haddad, the bill will have to be scheduled for a vote by the Government Administration and Elections Committee and be approved by the committee by majority vote.

The committee’s deadline for holding such votes is Wednesday at 5 p. m.

After the bill is approved by the committee, it would have to go to the House and be voted on before going to the Senate.

Moran hopes the bill is approved.

” We urge the committee to pass Section 13 so the proper oversight will exist on future real estate transactions,” she said.

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