Bill would halt construction at Silver Sands

Senator Gayle Slossberg announced on Friday the bipartisan Senate passage of Senate Bill 605, which she said would halt the buildout of Silver Sands Beach State Park in Milford.

Hundreds of Milford residents have expressed their opposition to the project. Senate Bill 605 will prevent the build-out from moving forward for two years, unless it receives municipal approval. The bill passed with unanimous, bipartisan support, according to Slossberg. It now moves to the calendar of the House of Representatives, where Milford’s House Delegation, Representatives Kim Rose, Pam Staneski and Charlie Ferraro will work for its final passage.

“The people of Milford don’t want this buildout of their beach, and the state of Connecticut simply cannot afford it,” Slossberg said. “It simply makes no sense to pursue such an expensive, unwanted construction project, particularly in the current financial climate, when we are struggling to even keep our state parks open. This project was ill-conceived from the start, and I’m glad we were able to put a stop to it.”

She said the bill will put Milford residents on equal footing with the state officials pushing the buildout of Silver Sands.

The Silver Sands proposal is currently estimated to cost $10 million. Public hearings held in Milford attracted hundreds of residents, most of whom spoke against the plan.

Opponents said they are concerned that the project is based on an outdated Environmental Impact Evaluation and is underestimating the damage that this construction project will have to local plants and wildlife. They are also concerned that the plan to begin collecting tolls for people to park at the beach will make it too expensive for residents to visit the beach they have been going to for years.

DEEP officials counter that the amenities are sorely needed in a park that attracts many visitors from Milford and around the state.

The proposed development at Silver Sands would include construction of a maintenance garage, concession stand, viewing stand, entrance booth and other facilities.

According to Slossberg, Senate Bill 605 states that the state could not pursue construction at Silver Sands for at least two years without approval from the city of Milford.