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Board of Selectmen To Hear Cooke Farm Tax Status Issues Tonight

Will years of litigation finally come to a resolution?

Tonight before the pubic, the will meet to discuss Branford resident Wayne Cooke's ongoing . The meeting takes place at the at 6 p.m.

During the Board of Selectman meeting in early March, Cooke presented a letter to the BOS, dated Feb. 7, 2012 stating his status for 616 E. Main Street and 573 East Main St., had not been accepted as farmland for 2011. 

Cooke's letter states:

"It has been over four months since the requirements of our tax settlement with the Board of Selectman have been fulfilled for 573 East Main Street and our farm status has not been restored. Despite having all the paperwork submitted well before the agreed upon June 1, 2011 deadline, the Assessor's Office waited until one working day before the October 31, 2011 CT 490 application deadline – five months – to express any concerns and even today, continues to disingenuously demand the exact same forms it has received multiple times and requires information that was not part of our agreement with your board." 

Branford Town attorney William H. Clendenen Jr. responded to Cooke's letter via Cooke's representing lawyer Nick Mingione on Feb. 14:

"We have attempted to cooperate with both you and your client throughout this process. When will your client cooperate and provide the Branford Assessor with the outstanding paperwork, which is required of every other farmer seeking a farmland classification in the town of Branford? This is a two-way street and not a dead-end road. Please cooperate."

The letter goes on to detail that Cooke is missing a map of 573 E. Main St., correct M-29 for 573 for 2011, M-28 farm exemption form for 2011 for 573 E. Main St., and Reg-8 for 573 and 616 for 2011. 

However, the did notify Cooke in forms mailed and dated Feb. 3, 2012, of a change in the grand list from 2010 to 2011 for both properties. 616 E. Main St., grand list amount went from $1,418,230 in 2010 to $543,000 in 2011; 573 E. Main St., went from $2,068,300 in 2010 to $7,400 in 2011. These forms were retuned to on Feb. 13, 2012 after being deemed undeliverable to the address: New Associates, 616 E. Main St., Branford CT 06405.

See full letters above attached to this story as a PDF.

Will tonight bring final closure to the farm tax status issue for Cooke?

jeff April 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM
A bag of popcorn,a soft drink-cant wait for this show to be aired on the Branford t.v. channel! Hope all the folks that post are there.....Only 3 minutes to speak your piece,should keep an interesting and fast paced meeting-hope there's time for all those signs!
Steve from SAAC April 05, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Not to mention hand gestures!
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Wayne please chill@ This will do no good potty mouthing it only raises your blood pressure. Fastest way to the ER in a litter. I hope u r around the next time I come for a visit. I say do 5x around the green everyother hour every day till the cows come home. advertise with a banner flying behind a plane over the beaches of the area to let everyone know what the leaders in the town are doing. Do it legally and do it smart Make sure the towns bosses in Hartford know what evil things they are playing and above all relax and breath
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Richard u are attaking Wayne on here that is a no no I learned the hard way so I flags you for being out of line
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
If I were there I'd give Wayne my 3 minutes of fame so should everyone else

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