A proposed expansion to Tilcon’s Plainville Connecticut quarry operation could add 75 acres to local open space holdings.
Under the deal, which requires approval from the General Assembly, Tilcon would preserve 275 acres of company-owned land as open space in exchange for permission to quarry on land included in the Shuttle Meadow Reservoir watershed. The land is located in Plainville but owned by New Britain.
Town officials and state legislators were supportive of the deal, which was introduced to the General Assembly as Senate Bill 300. It’s before the public health committee and must be voted on by March 23.
State Rep David Zoni, a Democrat representing Southington, said town officials had no objections to the plan. A few people at the March 7 public hearing in Hartford spoke about the environmental impact of the plan but Zoni said there wasn’t any strong opposition.
“It seems like a win-win for the town,” he said. “I didn’t find anything objectionable about it.”
The deal under consideration is very similar to a 2007 proposal that failed to gain approval from the legislature. At the time Tilcon offered about 100 acres each to Plainville and New Britain and 75 acres to Southington.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said the 2007 deal “died out due to politics.” She was in favor of the plan, in part since it would move blasting operations farther away from homes.
Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said there’s little impact to the town other than the donated land.
“I’ve informed my council, my council has no objections,” Brumback said. “It’s all been positive. It’s going to help us expand Crescent Lake which is already one of our signature parks.”
Victoria Triano, a Republican councilor and member of the open space acquisition subcommittee, said she wants to further investigate whether expanded quarrying would impact Southington but was enthusiastic about adding to Crescent Lake. More acres would mean more trails for hikers and walkers.