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Town Wins Eminent Domain Case Over Manchester Country Club 12th Tee

A judge ruled that Manchester does not have to pay any additional money to the former property owners.

A Superior Court Judge ruled that the town was in the right when it seized a 1.29 acre piece of property by eminent domain to serve as the 12th tee on the Manchester Country Club green, negating any extra compensation the property owners sought beside the "fair market value" of $52,000 the town already paid. 

Hartford Superior Court Judge Richard Rittenbrand ruled on Feb. 15 2013 that the town did not owe any extra compensation to the former property owners and defendants in a civil suit, Carlson Associates. Based on court documents, Carlson Associates' appraiser, Roy L. O'Neil Jr., valued the land taken by the town at $87,000, including damages. 

But, in his ruling, Rittenband said he found the town's appraiser, Thomas W. Henry, more credible in his assessment of the land's "fair market value," which was $52,000. 

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The judge's full ruling is attached to this article as a PDF. 

Mark LeClair February 20, 2013 at 03:47 PM
I'm going to add this issue to my ever growing list of things not to care about. It's not at the top, but it's right up there.
Joel Mrosek February 20, 2013 at 05:33 PM
It is disturbing that government can take property by eminent domain, for use as a golf tee. (that is apart from the discussion on how our tax dollars should be spent).
Eric A. Mann February 20, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Right at the top of the "WTF" scale! Eminent domain for a golf course??? Why? What's in it for the town? How much did this cost taxpayers to litigate? How much revenue will be derived as a result? I smell a bunch of over-privileged "children", with nothing better to do than think of ways to make their country club lifestyles "just peachy". Congrats, "Tad and Muffy".
Eric A. Mann February 20, 2013 at 11:58 PM
I did not miss the point, at all. Nor, I am positive, did Mr. Mrosek. The fact that the city can dictate to the property owner what price can be set, ignore that, and take the property by eminent domain, is egregious, in my opinion. If I were the owner, and could net more income via usage fees, as opposed to sale, I would fight. Bottom line, this is wrong. It's an abuse of power, and a terrible waste of taxpayer money. Missed the point? Not by a long shot!
ABG February 21, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Additionally,I don't believe that the town is making any money on the golf course and although it's considered a "PUBLIC" course membership is required to get preferred tee times. BTW how much money did the course generate over the past 5 years?
Eric A. Mann February 21, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Apples and Oranges, Mark! Apples and oranges!
Mark LeClair February 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM
A comparison of apples and oranges occurs when two items or groups of items are compared that cannot be practically compared. These two town owned institutions indeed linked and can be practically compared. This is fun, I can do this all day.
Eric A. Mann February 21, 2013 at 05:18 PM
@Mark - Lolol!!' It is fun. But, seriously, comparing a library to a golf course? No, I respectfully disagree. However, I truly see your point. It's about what's good for the city. But, I just think, in this case, it's extreme. We agree to disagree. All the best!
Mark LeClair February 21, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Agreed! Stay cool out there in Vegas....
James Bond February 21, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I really dislike eminent domain.
Joel Mrosek February 22, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Mark, YOU missed the point. This is an abuse of eminent domain and misuse of town dollars. Eric and I teed this one up perfectly. Also, I believe Mr. Goldstein is correct about the town not making money. A couple years ago the organization that leased the land from the town couldn't make the lease payments. Who is running it now? (My bet the same organization at a lower lease payment.) I have always thought this land should be sold or used in a way that benefits more than a handful of people. (Forget about getting a decent tee time unless you have connections. It is far from "public".)

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