Norwalk Dems debate ‘Farmland Funds’ and sports fields

(Updated Tuesday, Sept. 10, 1:53 p.m., with Farmland Fund explanation)

NORWALK, Conn. – Sports fields were a hot topic at the recent mayoral forum at the South Norwalk Community Center, as shown in the video above.

South Norwalk community activist Ernie Dumas asks District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra, former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling and Common Councilman Matt Miklave about Farmland Funds, which he said are state funds allocated to Norwalk every year.

“I want to know where those Farmland Funds are going,” Dumas said. (See below)

Mangiacopra said he is appalled by the state of baseball fields at Ryan Park and Ely School, and of a basketball court at Ely School. He suggested bringing successful athletes who grew up in Norwalk together to do something about the parks.

Rilling admitted that he didn’t know anything about Farmland Funds. The community needs to ask for answers, he said.

Miklave said the Board of Estimate and Taxation controls all of the city’s finances. He “fought like heck” to have a bipartisan BET, he said, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

“It’s time we elect a mayor who appoints a Board of Estimate and Taxation that will put the people’s needs first,” he said.

Regarding the Farmland Funds:

Finance Director Thomas Hamilton said in an email: “Pursuant to State law (CGS 7-34a), the Town Clerk collects a $40 supplemental recording fee (when it was originally established in 2005 it was a $30 supplemental fee) for documents recorded in the Town Clerk’s office. $36 of this amount is remitted to the State of CT; $1 is retained in a special revenue fund for use by the Town Clerk for historic document preservation (preservation of land records, etc.); and $3 of this amount, ‘shall become part of the general revenue of the municipality and used to pay for local capital improvement projects as defined in Section 7-536 of the general statutes.’

“The title of the act when it was originally established was, ‘An Act Concerning Farm Land Preservation, Land Protection, Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation’ but the law actually indicates that the $3 portion of the fee is to be put into the general fund of the municipality, and used to pay for local capital improvements. We apply these funds against various capital improvements undertaken by the City.”


One response to “Norwalk Dems debate ‘Farmland Funds’ and sports fields”

  1. Denniw DiManis

    Aren’t the Farmland Funds going to the woman in Broad River with the chickens in her yard?

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