Bill targeting Milford park construction passes committee

HARTFORD >> State Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, Monday announced the bipartisan committee passage of Senate Bill 605, which would halt proposed construction at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

A 2015 hearing in Milford drew about 400 local residents.

Senate Bill 605 would prevent the work from moving forward until it received municipal approval. It passed in the Environment Committee by a vote of 16-13.

It now moves to the calendar of the Senate for further consideration.

“This bill ensures that this controversial, expensive build-out cannot be forced on the people of Milford,” said Slossberg.

“Hundreds of people have spoken their opposition to this major construction project being proposed for their community, but their concerns have been ignored.

“The passage of this bill will put Milford residents on equal footing with the state officials pushing the build-out of Silver Sands, which will help us reach a fair conclusion that can be supported by the people who would be living with the effects of this project.”

Senate Bill 605 ensures the state could not pursue the project without approval from the Milford Board of Aldermen.

The proposal is estimated to cost $10 million.

Opponents’ concerns are:

The project is based on an outdated environmental impact evaluation and is underestimating the damage that the construction would do to plants and wildlife.

The plan to collect fees for people to park will make it too expensive for local residents to visit the beach they have been using for years.

The fee for parking would increase on-street parking in local neighborhoods.

The work would include construction of a maintenance garage, concession stand, viewing stand and entrance booth.

Slossberg and other Milford residents have requested more information on the proposal, including environmental and traffic evaluations, as well as short- and long-term cost projections.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has not responded, prompting Slossberg to submit a Freedom of Information Act request for the information.