Rivers Alliance says city’s Silver Sands testimony was ‘over the top’

To the Editor:
Thanks for reporting on the Conveyance Act hearing, in particular the section of the act that would convey parts of Silver Sands State Park over to the City of Milford. The total is about five acres.
The annual Conveyance Act is always exciting. It typically references 15 to 20 municipalities in which state open space or other property will be given away for various uses desired by someone. The recipient is usually the municipality, but can be a corporation or individual.
Each section begins with the words, “Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, ..” This means that the conveyance may violate any or all laws that would ordinarily apply. It can be extremely difficult to decipher what a section actually does. The language is cryptic real-estate-ese.
As you could see, the committee members themselves are often in the dark. This year’s act consists of 15 sections, in approximately 15 different cities and towns, conveying pieces from 100 acres down to fractions of an acre (which can control access to a larger piece).
The act was released on Thursday for a Monday hearing, giving the environmental community about one business day to respond.
I see that one of your readers asked for a map. Very sensible. Wouldn’t you think maps would come with the bill? However, the Silver Sands conveyance jumped off the page. I believe Audubon Connecticut had almost 300 messages of concern in a matter of hours. Rivers Alliance encountered a similar reaction.
The history of the park is complex. We all have a lot to learn. Legislators asked for negotiations. But the Milford contingent may need some time to cool down. Their testimony was over-the-top angry. What was that all about? The best defense is an offense?
I much appreciate the careful attention The Mirror is giving to this issue, and look forward to reading more.
Margaret Miner
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut