Battle continues over Silver Sands construction
State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) submitted a Freedom of Information Request this week to Commissioner Rob Klee of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regarding planned construction at Silver Sands State Park.
Many Milford residents have spoken publicly against the plan, which includes adding bathrooms and a concession stand, improving parking and instituting a parking fee.
“It is just incredible to me that this unwanted, multimillion dollar project would move forward at the same time that it’s being proposed that millions will be cut from our schools and town,” said Slossberg. “Hundreds of Milford residents showed up to ask questions and voice our opposition to this program. It’s insulting to propose cutting funding from our town and then using our tax dollars to build out the beach in our neighborhoods and charge us and others to use it.”
According to press release from Slossberg’s office, she has asked, through FOI, for the following:
- The financial analysis for the proposed construction at Silver Sands State Park, including the capital and operating costs, revenue projections, short and long term cost projections, staffing requirements, and any other item that may have a fiscal impact on the state budget.
- Traffic congestion analysis, traffic studies, and proposed solutions to visitors parking in surrounding neighborhoods.
- The Environmental Impact Evaluation and any updates.
- The formal basis that DEEP used to determine the need for the construction.
- Any information that demonstrates public support or need for the project.
Last April the DEEP approved, with some modifications, a permit to add a boardwalk extension to Silver Sands State Park, on which to build the restrooms and concession stand.
Once all of the planned improvements are complete, the DEEP intends to start charging a parking fee — $9 during the week for state residents and $13 on weekends, plus tax. Now there is no parking fee.
While some residents have said they think it’s unfair they will have to pay to park at a city-located park, the real concern voiced at a packed meeting earlier in the process was that the fee will send people parking on streets along East Broadway and in other neighborhoods near the park.
DEEP officials counter that the amenities are sorely needed in a park that attracts many visitors from Milford and around the state.
State officials said late last year that the total cost of the project isn’t known yet, but this week Slossberg referred to it as a $10 million project.
In response to Slossberg's FOI request, DEEP Spokesman Dennis Schain said, "We have received the Senator’s request for information on the Silver Sands project. We will search our records and provide information she is requesting."