Deal reached for 1,000-acre parcel in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) – The 2008 collapse of a Wall Street giant has helped clear the way to preserve a major piece of land on the Connecticut shoreline.

A deal has been reached on a 1,000-acre preserve that spans Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook.

In the agreement, the state and federal governments contribute close to $5 million for the purchase and the residents of Old Saybrook will be asked to pay about $3 million.

“I don’t know of any other land acquisition that is higher ranked in importance across the state than this particular action we are taking today,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Added Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, “Acquiring this piece of land is not a conservative or liberal, Democratic or Republican issue. This open space acquisition is about quality of life for the current and future residents of the town, as well as for those who visit beautiful Old Saybrook.”

The land was owned by Lehman Brothers, the big financial services company that went belly up six years ago.

The $8 million price tag is considered the best opportunity that the state, the town and land preservation organizations will ever have to save this for passive recreational use.

Fortuna says he will present this to the Board of Selectmen and town Finance Board with an eye toward having a public referendum on spending the $3 million to help preserve this land sometime in June.

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