New Milford council to discuss land donation

Photo of Katrina Koerting

NEW MILFORD — The town is considering a land donation that could be used for the planned bike trail.

The Town Council originally scheduled a special town meeting for Thursday, pending the recommendation of the Planning Commission at a special meeting this week, but it was later canceled it so an environmental study could be done.

The 1.76 acres is now owned by Jody Drulard. It is located north of Helen Marx Park and across from B&B Mason, with 228 feet along the Housatonic River. The land lies in the 100 year floodplain.

The donation was presented at last week’s Town Council meeting, where Town Planner Kathy Castagnetta said there weren’t current plans for the property. The property is wooded and hasn’t had any structures on it for at least 50 years.

“At this point, it’s just an opportunity,” she said.

Councilwoman Katy Francis said the parcel is located along the route the town hopes to build its bike path. She said the donation is great because the town wouldn’t have to build the path around it.

The Town Council agenda touts how the property donation allows for “long-term preservation of the riverine, floodplain and habitat.”

Councilman Peter Mullen said he was in favor of the donation but questioned the maintenance requirements. He said donated land is generally turned over to Parks and Recreation without the corresponding staff increase to take care of the parcels.

Once town officials have the owner’s permission to complete an environmental assessment, they can get cost estimates for the study and the council can decide if it wants to proceed, Castagnetta said in an email Monday.

If it does proceed, the donation must still be approved by residents.; 203-731-3345