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I was among those who joined the Venuti property tour being offered to the Town of Killingworth. Before even reaching the property, I had my very first impression of it. Aside from the serious fiscal considerations, I guess the three very basic tenets in any real estate transaction are location, location, and location. I was stunned by its out-of-the-way location. Even in years to come, I wonder how many of our townspeople would opt to take the ride when we already have many un-used and under-used public trails and public parks in our town.
Besides the scores of miles of trails in our 400-acre Chatfield Hollow State Park and the adjoining 500 acres of Cockaponset State Forest, we already have recreational access to some 40 properties in the hundreds of acres of the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust and nearly two miles of stream frontage in four more parcels. We already have even more trails at Parmelee Farm.
Then there are all of the other public parks and launches within just a few miles of our border, including state parks at Hammonasset, Rocky Neck, Devil’s Hopyard, Gillette’s Castle, Haddam Meadows, Harkness Memorial, and Selden Neck, as well as Nehantic State Forest.
In addition to all of that, we already have budgeted free use of our existing (and maintained) and under-used town parks: Bethke Field, Irene Sheldon Park, Rocco Reale Field, and Eric Auer Recreational Park.
By courtesy and invitation from our regional water authority, we have some limited access to the trails on its hundreds of acres, too.
It seems that we already have enough places owned and set aside for our recreation and expansion, and I’ve heard no over-riding reason to need the Venuti property, too—certainly not for $6.25 million funded through more taxes for years to come.
Kelvin W. Cole
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