Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

June 20, 1994

The Honorable Robert M. Ward
State Representative
Assistant Minority Leader
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Representative Ward:

This will respond to your request for advice concerning State funding for the purchase, by the Town of East Haven, of property of the Colony Beach Club. Specifically, you inquire as to whether the use of State funds for such a purchase would make the facility available for use by all Connecticut residents. Based upon discussions with representatives of the Office of Policy and Management ("OPM") and of the Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP"), it is our understanding that any State funding of such an acquisition by the Town would be provided as an urban development project municipal grant-in-aid under Conn. Gen. Stat.  4-66c(b)(6)(B). Therefore, this opinion addresses the question of whether that statute imposes upon the municipal recipient of such a grant a requirement that it admit non-residents to the funded facility. It is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that statutes must be interpreted "as they are written." State v. Johnson, 227 Conn. 534, 542, 630 A.2d 1059 (1993), quoting Muha v. United Oil Co., 180 Conn. 720, 730, 433 A.2d 1009 (1980). Accordingly, we cannot read into the statute provisions which are not clearly stated. Glastonbury Co. v. Gillies, 209 Conn. 175, 179, 550 A.2d 8 (1988). The plain language of Conn. Gen. Stat.  4-66c(b)(6)(B) imposes no requirement that the municipal recipient of an urban development grant admit non-residents to the facility which is the subject of the grant. However, the statute also contains no requirement that a grant-in-aid be provided for any particular project. Thus, the decision whether to extend a grant-in-aid for the acquisition of the Colony Beach Club property rests within the discretion of OPM. There is nothing which would preclude OPM, or another state agency selected by OPM to administer such a grant, from including, within the terms of the grant agreement, a requirement pertaining to the admission of non-residents to the facility. We are informed by OPM that any grant-in-aid provided to East Haven for acquisition of the Colony Beach Club property would be administered by DEP. Typically, grant-in-aid agreements prepared by DEP for municipal acquisition or improvement projects have included provisions relating to fee differentials for non-residents. However, absent some provision in the grant-in-aid agreement requiring that East Haven admit non-residents to the Colony Beach Club property, nothing in Conn. Gen. Stat.  4-66c(b)(6)(B) would require that it do so.

Very truly yours,


Brian J. Comerford
Assistant Attorney General


cc: The Honorable William Cibes
Office of Policy and Management

James Sullivan
Section Director
Office of Policy and Management

The Honorable Timothy R.E. Keeney
Commissioner of Environmental Protection

Charles J. Reed
Director of Land Acquisition
and Property Management
Department of Environmental Protections

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