Town officials in Sherman are working toward taking ownership of Happy Acres Farm.

The town purchased the iconic, 92-acre farm in 2010 for $2.9 million and granted then owner Tony Hapanowich a life estate to remain on the property.

Hapanowich died in late August of this year, leaving the management of the farm in the hands of a trust. Frank Pruchnick is in charge of the farm's day-to-day operation.

"The town is taking steps to prepare to take over ownership and management of the farm," First Selectman Clay Cope said. "An ad hoc committee has been formed and is looking into the short-term and long-term future of the farm.

For the short term, the cattle remain at the farm, which is located at the intersection of Route 39 North and Taber Road.

What the future holds for the farm -- whether it will remain a working cattle farm or become solely an icon property -- is still being determined, Cope said.

"The trust has been very gracious in overseeing the property," Cope added. "Unfortunately, there was no plan in place for actual transfer to the town at the time voters agreed to the purchase. That's what we're working on now."

The town of Sherman plans to take over Happy Acres management/ownership in the first months of 2014. An exact date is still to be determined.

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Susan Tuz