FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Dale W. Radcliffe, William S. Holden, Arthur A. Hiller,

 

Complainants

 

against Docket #FIC 89-46

 

Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection,

 

Respondent September 13, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was scheduled for hearing as a contested case on June 9, 1989, at which time the complainants and the respondent appeared, and presented evidence and argument on the complaint.

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found.

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. On January 3, 1989, and January 13, 1989, the complainants requested a copy of the respondent's appraisal of a 375 acre area called the Trumbull Pequonnock Valley (the valley, hereinafter).

 

3. On February 7, 1989, the complainants filed their appeal after the respondent failed to provide them with a copy of the appraisal.

 

4. The respondent claims that the appraisal is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(7), G.S., because it is a real estate appraisal made for the department of environmental protection (DEP, hereinafter) relative to the acquisition of property, and because the transaction has not been completed.

 

5. The complainants allege that the exemption at 1-19(b)(7), G.S., is no longer applicable because the appraisal has been shared with members of the public, and with the owner of the land, the Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

 

6. It is found that the town of Trumbull has issued bonds in the amount of four million dollars for the purchase of the valley.

 

Docket #FIC 89-46 page 2

 

7. It is found that, at all times relevant for the complaint, the DEP and the town of Trumbull were negotiating the purchase of the valley with Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

 

8. It is found that the DEP intends the acquisition to be made pursuant to 23-74 to 23-80, G.S., the recreation and national heritage trust program.

 

9. It is found that, if the valley is acquired by the town and DEP, title will vest in the DEP.

 

10. It is found that the DEP requires two appraisals in order for it to approve the acquisition of the valley.

 

11. It is found that the DEP exchanged copies of its appraisal for that of the Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. as part of its negotiations.

 

12. It is found that the DEP provided a copy of its appraisal to the first selectman of Trumbull who gave copies of the appraisal to the three persons who are negotiating on behalf of the town for the purchase of the valley.

 

13. It is found that the first selectman of Trumbull has not retained a copy of the appraisal.

 

14. It is found that pursuant to an agreement of the parties to the negotiations, the appraised value of the land has been disclosed.

 

15. It is found that under the circumstances of this case disclosure of the appraisal would not have a negative effect upon the ongoing negotiations for the acquisition of the valley.

 

16. It is, therefore, found that under the circumstances of this case the appraisal is not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(7), G.S.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainants with a copy of the appraisal more fully described in paragraph 2 of the findings above.

 

PURSUANT TO 4-180(c) C.G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE F.O.I.C., OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

DALE W. RADCLIFFE

4 George Street

Trumbull, CT 06611

 

WILLIAM S. HOLDEN

6 Woodfield Drive

Trumbull, CT 06611

 

ARTHUR A. HILLER

21 Mallett Drive

Trumbull, CT 06611

 

COMMISSIONER, STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

c/o Robert E. Walsh, Esquire

David H. Wrinn, Esquire

Assistant Attorneys General

55 Elm Street, 4th Floor

Hartford, CT 06106

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 13, 1989.

 

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission