FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||CORRECTED FINAL DECISION|
|Joan C. Molloy,|
|against||Docket #FIC 1998-156|
Town of Wallingford; and Town of
|Respondents||October 28, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 27, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached: 1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-18a(1), G.S.
2. By letter dated May 7, 1998, the complainant submitted a written request to the chairman of the respondent commission for a copy of the list of the properties and their ranking (hereinafter the list) compiled by the respondent commission for the Town of Wallingfords open space acquisition project (hereinafter the project).
3. By letter dated May 28, 1998, the town attorney informed the complainant that the list was exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-19(b)(7), G.S., because the properties on the list were still being evaluated and the respondent town had not abandoned its interest in acquiring properties on the list.
4. By letter dated May 28, 1998, and filed with the Commission on June 1, 1998, the complainant appealed the respondent commissions refusal to provide her with a copy of the requested list.
5. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency . . . shall be public records and every person shall have the right . . . to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15.
6. Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.
7. It is found that the list more fully described in paragraph 2, above, is a public record within the meaning of §1-18a(5), G.S.
8. With respect to the respondents claim of exemption described in paragraph 3, above, §1-19(b)(7), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require the disclosure of . . . the contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property . . . until such time as all property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned . . .
9. It is found that the list is an inventory of parcels of property in the town of Wallingford and that each parcel has been evaluated for and ranked according to its potential for open space acquisition.
10. It is found that the list was complied by the respondent commission for use by the town council to assist the town council in its selection of sites to pursue and acquire for the project.
11. It is found that the list is an evaluation made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property.
12. It is further found that although the town council failed in an earlier attempt to acquire property on the list, it has not abandoned its intention or efforts to acquire other property on the list.
13. It is found, therefore, that the proceedings or transactions relative to the acquisition of the property have not been terminated or abandoned.
14. Therefore, it is concluded that the list is permissibly exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-19(b)(7), G.S.
15. It is further concluded that the respondents did not violate §1-15(a) or §1- 19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with a copy of the list.
16. At the hearing on this matter the respondents further argued that the list was exempt pursuant to §1-19(b)(1), G.S.
17. Given the conclusion reached in paragraph 15, above, it is unnecessary to rule on the claimed exemption in paragraph 17, above.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 28, 1998.
_________________________ Melanie R. Balfour Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Joan C. Molloy 150 South Street Wallingford, CT 06492
Wallingford Conservation Commission, Town of Wallingford; and Town of Wallingford c/o Atty. Janis M. Small Town Attorney Town of Wallingford 45 South Street Wallingford, CT 06492
__________________________ Melanie R. Balfour Acting Clerk of the Commission