Milford officials say no, Malloy’s office says yes
Though several Milford officials are pushing for a “no” vote on the construction project at Silver Sands State Park, the governor’s office says the project is essential.
Sen. Gayle Slossberg, Milford Mayor Ben Blake and other members of the city’s legislative delegation sent a letter Wednesday to the State Bond Commission and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asking them to vote no on bonding for the construction project.
The $10 million expansion plan for the state park — which covers 297 acres of coastline in Milford — includes a maintenance garage, entrance booth, changing rooms and concession stands.
“The people of Milford have spoken loudly and clearly in opposition to this ill-conceived build-out of Silver Sands,” Slossberg said. “People deserve to have a say to what happens in their community, particularly when it comes to major, transformative construction projects like what had been proposed at Silver Sands.”
Slossberg said the project moved forward without community support and that there has been a lack of communication about its scope.
Kelly Donnelly, communications director for Malloy, said the governor’s office feels a bit differently.
“We appreciate the perspective and feedback from elected officials in Milford, but we respectfully disagree,” Donnelly said. “This project ensures important improvements are made to Silver Sands that will improve access to the park and build out basic amenities for visitors.
“It’s important to remember that this is a state park that serves tens of thousands of visitors from across Connecticut and beyond and, therefore, it must be operated, maintained and improved with all state residents in mind,” Donnelly said.
The State Bond Commission is expected to vote on more than $9.1 million in bonding for construction at Silver Sands at a meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Nov. 29.
Concerns from citizens mentioned the cost of the project and the negative impact it will have on small businesses in the area, a news release said. There is also concern the project is based on an outdated environmental impact evaluation and does not fully address damages that could come from the project.
“(We) are calling on the members of the State Bond Commission to listen to the people that will have to live with the decision they make next week, and vote against this bonding,” Slossberg said.