Lawmaker Testifies in Support of Abandoned Land Bill After NBC CT Responds Investigation

Two trees, located on abandoned land, have fallen on a Coventry man's house. NBC CT Responds report into who is to blame sparked the interest of the homeowner's state representative.

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A lawmaker continues to push for change after seeing an NBC CT Responds investigation.

Rep.Tim Ackert testified at the state legislature's Planning and Development Committee this week in support of creating a group to study abandoned and unclaimed property across the state.

Dana Markie, of Coventry, has had two massive trees fall on his home in two years’ time and the land where the trees fell from has as no owner.

The damage has cost him financially and emotionally and he’s concerned about other trees on this abandoned land falling on his home too.

After seeing our initial report, NBC CT was there as Ackert met with Markie.

Ackert says his constituent’s problem makes him think about how can state leaders can help avert a crisis, like his, that could have caused injuries or worse from happening again.

Wednesday, Ackert spoke in support of House Bill 6651.

If passed, it would establish a working group to study the financial and legal impact of unclaimed or abandoned property on municipalities.

“Could be variable issues that come with unclaimed properties. Blight for one,” Ackert said. "Or other issues like this trees, run-off, whatever it might be.”

“When I started to look at my community alone, how many pieces of property had no ownership, I was shocked," Ackert said.

Lawmakers on the committee who responded to Ackert’s testimony said while they haven’t heard a story quite like Markie’s, they too have abandoned land concerns in their districts.

And, they’re interested in what taxable value these abandoned properties could have to municipalities too.

NBC CT Responds continues to keep an eye on this bill to see if it makes its way out of committee.

Markie will too, as he continues to rebuild.

He hopes lawmakers make a change so other people don’t end up in his situation.

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