MDC Abandonment Permit

To All Colebrook Residents:
Yesterday the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) approved the Metropolitan District’s (MDC) application to abandon its rights to use approximately 10 billion gallons of water stored between elevation 644 feet and 701 feet with in the Colebrook River Lake (aka Colebrook Reservoir). The MDC will still own the rights to 3.5 billion gallons of water stored behind the Colebrook River Dam. The permit was granted and is subject to many conditions identified in the Source Permit. The MDC , Save the Sound, and the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that commits the MDC to granting a conservation easement to the NCLC on 5,500 acres of open space land that surrounds Colebrook River Lake Reservoir. The question that I am sure you all have is what happens to the land? It will have an easement on it that will preserve and protect the land in perpetuity, the MDC will still own the land and has to own the land. In accordance the CT Gen Statute 12-76., the MDC will still be required to pay taxes on the land that they own in Colebrook, assessed at what would be its fair market value were it assessed as improved farmland. That is how the land is currently assessed “Improved Farmland”.
I am sure this news will raise a lot of questions. Before you call or send me an e-mail, please read the DPH Source Abandonment Permit. The Source Abandonment Permit contains a lot of detail and rationalizes why and the process that the DPH used to approve the MDC application.
Chris Johnstone First Selectman

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