The Legislative Council is scheduled to consider and possibly endorse eminent domain options to acquire a privately owned parcel for the planned new access road for Sandy Hook School. The meeting is set for Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 at the Municipal Center.
According to the agenda, the council will discuss and possibly act on acquiring a parcel for the school, "including action by eminent domain."
Town Attorney Monty Frank told The Newtown Bee that it is the council's purview to take up the action if it cannot reach an agreement through negotiation.
If such action was to go forward, Mr Frank said it is standard procedure to present two appraisals to the property owner before filing with the court. At that time the town also files a deposit with the court that amounts to the average between the two appraisals.
The town has reportedly obtained three appraisals on the parcel in question. Once served, there is at least a 35-day waiting period before the town would ask the court to issue a certificate of taking, Mr Frank said.
Sources say the town could demonstrate a clear public purpose to initiate the proceedings if it fails to reach an amicable settlement to purchase the parcel.
First Selectman Pat Llodra told The Bee that negotiations to acquire property needed to develop a new access road to Sandy Hook School have been unsuccessful to date.
"Those negotiations are continuing and I am hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the property owners before the Legislative Council decides that it is the necessary to proceed with eminent domain," Mrs Llodra said, replying by email to a request for additional comment. "Time is a critical matter, however, so we do not face delays in construction."