Local leaders urge state to vote no on Silver Sands project

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–It’s been years in the planing phase but tomorrow a $9.1 million dollar proposal for improvements to Silver Sands Beach State Park will go before the State Bond Commission for a vote.

“We want the members of the Bond Commission to know, we get it. Our state is broke. This is a project we don’t need and it is a project that we don’t want,” said State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D).

“We do not think the priorities coming from Hartford to build out this beautiful pristine park are right,” said Milford Mayor Ben Blake.

Related: Safety changes at Silver Sands State Park being considered

Local leaders and residents came together this morning to speak out against the proposal. The project includes putting up a large building that would house a concession stand and bathrooms and showers where a small structure now sits. Those against it say it will disrupt the natural serenity of the park in its current state.

“To have a massive building and to take away the, I mean look at that. You can’t. You can’t. It’s just not right,” said Milford resident Kim Thompson.

Another argument against the proposal is the impacts it will have to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. Residents argue the already crowded streets will get busier but the increase in people won’t mean the same for businesses if the concession stand goes in.

“We know that it will have a negative impact on the business but we don’t know how much but why then do it? And also, we were never consulted about whether or not this was a great idea,” said Susan Patrick , who owns the nearby Walnut Beach Creamery.

Earlier this year the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection called the proposal a top priority. Today a spokesperson for Governor Malloy released the following statement:

“We appreciate the perspective and feedback from elected officials in Milford, but we respectfully disagree. 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.”

Senator Slossberg says with the state’s current financial troubles the money would be better off spent somewhere else.

“Spend it on our roads. Spend it on our kids. Spend it on our seniors. But, please don’t waste your money here. We’re happy with this just the way it is,” said Slossberg.

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