Saved By The Airport?...Again?

There's a saying that goes that you never know who your friends are. I think that describes East Haven's relationship with Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport perfectly.

Oh, sure, the "bitter enders" still cling to their belief that an improved airport will "lower property values," a fear that a 30-year study by the University of Connecticut proved NOT to be true.

For years the area around Morris Creek was subject to flooding, particularly after heavy rains. And while local politicians wrung their hands and "felt the pain" of constituents, nothing was done. It was after the airport re-aligned Morris Creek and replaced the ancient floodgates with more modern efficient ones that the complaints ceased.

"Big deal," the naysayers will reply. Okay, how about this: In 2009 the Town of East Haven was facing a budget crunch and staring at a deficit. At that time, the airport was interested in a piece of East Haven land the town had no use for. The town was able to sell it to the airport for one-and-one-half million dollars, thereby wiping out their deficit. And this wasn't the only land deal with the airport where East Haven profited. The airport sold excess land to the town in the 1970s for Wal*Mart prices, land the town used to start the industrial park.

Oh, and the town also gets money from the State of Connecticut as part of the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes program because the town "hosts" the airport. Money for NOT providing municipal services! How 'bout that!

And now, with the current political environment in Washington and Hartford, it wouldn't surprise me if there were "more than a few" East Shore residents who are willing to "vote with their feet," if only they could get someone to pay "fair market value" for their homes, the real estate market being what it is today.

I think I know a party who may be interested...