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Trumbull Councilwoman Thankful for Land Transfer

The town is authorized to sign a lease for the parcel off Quarry Road near the Pequonnock River.

To the Editor:

As a member of the Trumbull Town Council from the new District 4, I
would like to take this opportunity to thank our First Selectman and
his administration for their collective efforts in negotiating a final
resolution to the land transfer agreement with the City of Bridgeport.
The end resolution has proved beneficial to the taxpayers of Trumbull
as we secure an appreciable asset that will add immeasurable value to
our renowned park system.  More than three years ago, the City of
Bridgeport sought to build a magnet school on state owned property that
happened to be located within the territorial confines of the Town of
Trumbull.  The magnet school that was proposed would have primarily
benefited the City of Bridgeport, with the State of Connecticut
covering more than 95% of the construction costs.  Without the land
transfer being approved, the Town of Trumbull would have incurred
substantial cost with respect to police, fire and EMS.  In addition,
there was a legitimate question concerning the issue of liability - -
whose responsibility would the school really be?

The land transfer negotiated by the Herbst administration addressed
all of these issues.  Originally, the Town negotiated for 20 acres of
property but ultimately secured 40 acres and building facilities that
will be utilized by the Trumbull Parks Department.  This parcel will
be located along the regional Rails to Trails, the Town’s greatest
natural resource that is used by almost 6,000 residents on a weekly
basis to walk, run and bicycle.  Further, by negotiating the land
transfer, all issues of secondary liability to the Town of Trumbull
(and the concurrent cost to Trumbull taxpayers) is eliminated by the
fact that the school is now in the city limits of Bridgeport.  And, if
any of our students choose to enroll in the magnet school, we will
still have an adequate number of allocated seats to allow them to do
so.

As a wife, mother of three and former PTA president, what made me and
my husband move to Trumbull was the strong quality of life and strong
school system.  Trumbull's quality of life is truly defined by our
park system.  We have more open space per capita of any other
community of similar size in the state of Connecticut and the efforts
of the Herbst administration to secure an additional 40 acres of open
space only enhances our already stellar reputation.  40 acres of open
space valued at anywhere from $8,000,000-$9,000,000, that will go to
the Town of Trumbull for the next 75 years for the bargain price of
$1.00 total is, in my opinion, an excellent deal for our Town.  My
sincere thanks to Tim Herbst and his administration in holding firm at
the bargaining table and negotiating a land transfer that will
positively benefit the Town of Trumbull for generations to come.

Ann Marie Evangelista

Fed up January 17, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Rails to trails project is A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY! It generates absolutely no revenue for the town. Do we really need another park??? C'mon open your eyes. Let's negotiate for something the town can benefit from.
Thomas Tesoro January 17, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Fed Up, Get the facts about this deal and you will be appalled. Trumbull and the administration had a great deal on the table. Trumbull would have 150 seats in the new magnet school. Trumbull would receive infrastructure inprovements on roads and the like in the area. Trumbull would receive a payment annually from Bridgeport. Trumbull's P&Z would be incontrol of the project and more. Great deal all we had to do was sign. Unfortunately, we did not sign and kept upping the ante and threatening to delay the project. At that point the State, that has a compelling interest in building these schools because of the case of SHeff vs. O'Neill stepped in, took over the project and all that was lost. As an example, instead of 150 seats, we got 50 seats, that loss of 100 seats means millions more in expense to Trumbull taxpayers. We would have been able to build out Rails to Trails anyway so that as a justification is weak at best. The so called value of the land is really zero. The deed restricts its use and there will be little to no revenue and more expense for maintence. What is the point of going on, you get the point. We had a great deal and blew it and now we are tring to convince ourselves we have a good deal. IMHO, this is a horrible deal for Trumbull and its taxpayers. Ignore the spin, get the facts and remember, this is what happens when you fail to seek out opinions and ideas different from your own.
JR January 17, 2013 at 05:35 PM
How can a value greater than zero be placed on land that cannot be sold or taxed? Bridgeport gets to keep its garage and vehicles on the property for 10-15 years for FREE. TH got schooled by the real politicians on this one.
Jim Flynn January 17, 2013 at 08:53 PM
This article is some type of pathetic and sad joke written by the the TRTC. Face it Sycophant Evangelista, the Herbst administration took a piece of filet mignon and through sheer incompetence and naivete turned it into ground chuck.
Joan January 17, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Wow, that's a lot of spin. Nice try, but the voters are smarter than Ms. Evangelista and Mr. Herbst give them credit for.
Renee January 17, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that the state dictated the terms. The trail would have been completed regardless. How many police, fire or emergency calls would Trumbull have had to respond to? Very few, so the rationale that this deal saved us money is pretty weak. Admitting your wrong is a sign of strength, maturity, and honesty. Maybe next time?
Tom Kelly January 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM
I think it is a serious omission to leave out of this summary that the "open space" that was aquired is anything but. This is not pristine open space with a value to Trumbull of $8-9 million. The Bridgeport Parks Department Maintenance Garage is allowed to continue to use the site for at least TEN YEARS. Has anyone seen this maintenance garage? Check it out before declaring this deal a winner for Trumbull. Let's also find out before the final assessment if there will be more students from Trumbull who want to go to the magnet school than spaces available. If there is a long waiting list of Trumbull students as there is at the Discovery Magnet School, will the Republicans still be doing their dance in the end zone or will they pause before spiking the football?
raymond jaroszewski January 18, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Your letter is pathetic Ann Marie, this town needs people to speak truth to power not toe the party line like a good cronnie.
MAC January 18, 2013 at 12:57 AM
What's a "cronnie"? Seriously, you Herbst haters--when are you going to give up your scrawny arguments utilized in your never ending bitter criticism of our FS? Never mind the value of the land in trade, as the land the school is being built on, was STATE owned anyway! It was not Trumbull's asset to 'do what we wanted' with. A far bigger concern to most citizens was the liabilities and costs for our emergency services being called on by this new Bridgeport run high school--which our FS has wisely relieved us of!! The police calls to Bridgeport high schools are quite frequent. Also, Bridgeport and Finch DON'T have a good track record of keeping their promises!!! Their budget is in terrible shape--so getting the promised $$$ from them was very iffy at best.
Renee January 18, 2013 at 01:26 AM
How do you know that the police calls to Bpt High Schools are frequent? Why do you assume the same thing would happen at this new Magnet school? Is there a set cost per call to the police and how would thus effect the local tax payer? You also didn't answer the question of what did Trumbull gain? This article in addition to a previous article by another author both portray the deal as being so incredibly favorable to Trumbull as a result of the FS's leadership. But the rail trail would have been extended whether it was on Trumbull or Bridgeport land. The land can't be used for anything else and it doesn't even I Clyde the Bpt public works garage. Is there going to be a cleanup and maintenance Trumbull is responsible for now that it is our land? People aren't bitter, they just want the truth.
Tom Kelly January 18, 2013 at 03:13 AM
MAC, once again, you don't know what you are talking about on this, and you really should learn before speaking about it. Regardless of whether the school is going to be in Trumbull over just over a redrawn line, both police departments will be involved in anything serious. Do you know how many times Bridgeport Police come to help at the mall and the movie theaters? The legal liability of the school would have been resolved with an intermunicipal agreement. Now we have some land with a Bridgeport Parks Department Garage in the middle of it for at least the next ten years. And they are going to open Rails to Trails up right to the Bridgeport border. I can't wait to see how you conservatives react when that gateway to our town is opened up. If the comments about the magnet school are any indication, I won't agree with whatever is said.
jg January 18, 2013 at 04:44 AM
It wasn't a promise to provide emergency services, it was a legally binding contract that was negotiated between the towns and would have been enforceable in court. The emergency services thing is a red herring. As for liability, there would be no more liability from a Bridgeport owned high school in Trumbull than from one owned by the Bridgeport Diocese. Would Ms. Evangelista advocate trying to move St. Joe's out of town? Lastly, what is an "adequate" member of students? Is that what she wants to tell student 51 and above? Sorry, we already have an adequate number of students. Maybe that makes them inadequate.......
mary isaac January 18, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Mr. Kelly, I believe that the Town Council ordered a soil sample to be done to make sure that we weren't going to be in the hole for a large remediation project. Do you know if that was done and what the results were?
JR January 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Wouldn't Ms. Evangelista know better?
CelticTee January 18, 2013 at 03:25 PM
The TRTC is overflowing with sheeple.
Pam Georgas January 18, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Can someone explain what 40 acres we have aquired use of? I don't think the land on that side is more than 30 acres from tip to tip according to the GIS maps, including the 6 or so acres Bridgeport is retaining. Did we get use of the 10 acres across the street as well, meaning the police /holiday building (not sure what it is officially called)
Thomas Tesoro January 18, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Ms. Evangelista is one of the nicest, well meaning people I know. In this case she is mistaken. Please do not make this about Ms. Evangelista. This is about the deal and, if you do your research, you will see Trumbull lost big on this. Don't believe me, do the research. Don't listen to MAC who wants to make this personal, it is not. This is about the deal, about the process that was badly handled, this is about an opportunity squandered because, in my opinion, only one point of view was considered. Whether it be the Charter, the WPCA, the silly Redistricting, or this deal, the failure to respectfully consider other points of view has hurt Trumbull. This deal hurt us financially, and in a big way. Do the research, you will see I am right.
Jim Flynn January 18, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Since we are getting 40 acres from the state, I am wondering if they will be providing a mule as well.
Trumbull Gal January 18, 2013 at 07:05 PM
"Please do not make this about Ms. Evangelista."? SHE agreed to attach her name to that ridiculous letter...and must now take what comes with it. For someone with children in the school system, so sad that she cannot understand what Trumbull has lost. Just another Republican attempt to deflect from the current Republican debacles. Stern Village, North Nichols sewers, WPCA, and on and on.
District4? January 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM
In reading this article. Mrs. Evangelista try's to represent the town the best she does as a councilwoman but is caught up within the politics of the town. Unfortunately, the TRTC and its leadership believes everything they do is right. They require their committee to support every action they make. This land deal was bad and they are trying make it sound like it was in the good interest of the town. A true politician will not admit when they are in the wrong. If the leadership admitted they made a mistake, you would gain more respect from its constitutes. Since the Republicans are in power they are going to do what they can to make themselves known. FS, your alias, or supporters remember that you are portrayed as role models for students and members of your family. Do not let them down with your gang mentality tactics of covering your mistakes as well as not teaching them right from wrong. Example: bonding and saving tax payers moneys. You are using the towns credit card. The citizens have to pay for it. Eventually Stop trying to use legal and big words to justify that your spending money you don't have for later generations. Bonding town cars? Power plant? Cell towers? Not knowing that town hall was getting free insurance? Saying that the train concert made so much money it covered the last two cancelled concerts? The sewer project? Someone allowing a person to sell generators?
louis January 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Tim, they gave you shit, tanks, Anne Marie....
raymond jaroszewski January 19, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Amen Renee
Jim Sullivan January 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Trumbull didn't pollute the property, so we won't on the hook for a clean-up, unless we have terrible legal representation and give someone, Bridgeport ot DEEP a gift.
Baffled Resident January 19, 2013 at 05:17 PM
"if any of our students choose to enroll in the magnet school, we will still have an adequate number of allocated seats to allow them to do so." The politically incorrect way of saying this would be: Good lord, why would any of our Trumbull kids ever want to go to a school with kids from Bridgeport? Another political genius from Trumbull..................

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