Lawmaker looks to block big changes to Silver Sands State Park - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmaker looks to block big changes to Silver Sands State Park

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Silver Sands State Park in Milford. (WFSB photo) Silver Sands State Park in Milford. (WFSB photo)

A local lawmaker is trying to block the state's plan to make some pretty big changes to Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

The city itself and those who use the beach said the changes, which include having to pay for parking, are things they don't want.

A $10 million project would provide bathrooms, changing rooms, a snack bar and storage for maintenance.

"I think it's kind of a big waste of money," said Dan Abel of Milford. "We have so many other problems in this state [and] we're going to put concessions stand in this place [and] make a mess."

Abel said he likes the park the way it is.

The state, however, wants to make it more in line with the rest of the state beaches.

"I think [the additions are] needed," said Gordon Siwek of Milford. "Most people are against it, but you need the bathrooms as opposed to these porto-toilets."

As part of the project, the state would also start charging beachgoers for parking.

Those against the plan feel people would stop coming or start parking in nearby neighborhoods.

Sen. Gayle Slossberg of Milford introduced a bill that would halt the project until it first gets approved at the local level by the city's Board of Aldermen.

According to the state, the 250,000 yearly visitors deserve these upgrades to make their visit sanitary, safe and convenient.

"This proposal, if passed, would enable local officials to block this project from moving forward," said Rob Klee, commissioner, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "We believe such a move would be short-sighted. Consider the interests of the thousands of Connecticut families who enjoy this park each year and whose experience would be improved with basic amenities."

The bill moves on to the state calendar for further consideration.

If the bill is not passed, the state said it plans to start the project later this year. It's expected to take a year.

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