By Lisa Capobianco
The Town Council voted unanimously to approve a $935,000 bond ordinance for the purchase of Pleasant View Stables.
Located at 427 Pleasant Street, on seven acres, the horse farm is adjacent to DePaolo Middle School and across the street from the Calendar House. Both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Finance recently approved the bond ordinance.
Before the council voted on the purchase of the farm house, several members of the community expressed their approval, but suggested possible uses for the property.
During the public hearing, local resident Mona Mckim spoke in favor of the purchase, but encouraged the Council to consider using the land for educational purposes. Currently, her daughter is a junior in the Vo-Ag program at Southington High School who takes care of some horses at Pleasant View on a daily basis.
“I happen to be one of the remaining borders there at the farm,” said Mckim, adding that she hopes the town could let the horses remain on the farm until her daughter graduates high school. “I don’t know if you decided what to do with the property, but if it is educational, hopefully you think of something related to the Vo-Ag program.”
During the meeting, members of the council noted how the horse farm property would benefit the town, considering its location near the high school and middle school, as well as the Calendar House. The town previously worked on the purchase of the horse farm property for several years.
“It would make such a great addition to our open space parcels and to our educational system,” said Town Councilor Dawn Miceli.
“A lot of things came together, and I’m very appreciative that we are moving forward for the purchase,” added Town Councilor John Barry. “I think it’s a good development.”
Although town officials feel excited about the purchase, they also understood the concern expressed by current borders of Pleasant View who may have no other place to keep their horses. Council members said they hope to help remaining borders during the transition.
“I hope we could at least maintain it for awhile as a horse farm,” Barry said.
“As I kid I lived around that area and there were horses going by my property all the time back and forth,” added Town Councilor Vicky Triano. “I just hope we can have compassion in that area—I think it’s such a heritage for us.”
Town Council Chairman Mike Riccio said he plans to discuss the matter with other town officials based on the comments heard from the community.
“Based on comments that we heard from the public, many of the conversations surrounding this property did involve preserving this as some kind of farm-use for educational purposes,” Riccio said. “We want to be able to bring something back to everybody by the next meeting.”
Town Attorney Mark Sciota said with the approval of the bond ordinance by the Council, officials expect the horse farm to close at the end of June.
“If people wish to continue to keep their horses there, the council hopes to work something out,” Sciota said.
By Lisa Capobianco