The Board of Aldermen has approved purchasing 36.2 acres of open space on Mohegan Road for $625,000.
The board, during its monthly meeting, unanimously voted in favor of buying the property, owned by Bank of America, which consists of two abutting parcels on Mohegan Rd., at the intersection of Far Mill St. One of the parcels boasts eight acres, while the other consists of 28.2 acres. Part of the property also abuts water company land.
The city plans to bond the purchase, spreading out two equal payments of $312,500 over the next two years.
The land purchase came highly recommended by the Conservation Commission, whose chairman said the property ties in with the commission’s master plan for open space acquisition.
“The Conservation Commission supports the acquisition of two abutting properties located on Mohegan Road,” said Thomas Harbinson, commission chairman, in a letter to the aldermen. “The properties have been ranked on our Quality of Life list for several years, and therefore fit in with our Master Plan.”
Harbinson said the city’s Conservation Agent Theresa Gallagher walked the property, and noted that it boasts a variety of “attractive and natural features, such as ledge outcrops, stone walls, streams and a wooded pond, in which a pair of Wood Ducks were spotted.”
Harbinson further noted the land has a wetland system that reduces flooding and improves water quality downstream, and also contains a number of plant species native to Connecticut. He also said the ridge tops and areas of ledge serve “as a natural screening” to the abutting neighborhoods of Dartmouth and Princeton drives to the east. An old woods road provides immediate access to the site for passive recreation, like hiking, according to Harbinson.
One area of the site, however, showed signs of heavy ATV use, Harbinson said, which is common with any vacant wooded property. He said efforts will need to be made to prohibit this type of activity on the property.
Aldermanic President John Anglace said the purchase of the land was a no-brainer for the city, and will be available for residents to enjoy and use for passive recreation for many years to come.
“Absolutely, it’s a home run for Shelton,” Anglace said.
The commission, comprised of seven volunteers, maintains an inventory of more than 175 parcels of open space throughout Shelton. They are responsible for ensuring the public parcels are properly signed and not encroached upon by individuals dumping, clearing or harming the land.