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State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Slossberg and Other Milford Officials Call for Rejection of Silver Sands Buildout Bonding

State Bond Commission expected to vote on $9 million in bonding for Silver Sands construction at November 29 meeting

photo of Senator Slossberg.

Today, Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford), Milford Mayor Ben Blake, and other members of Milford’s legislative delegation called on members of the State Bond Commission to vote no on bonding for a construction project at Silver Sands Beach State Park. Hundreds of Milford residents have spoken out against this project, expressing concern with the high cost of the buildout, the negative impact the proposed concession stand will have on small businesses in the area, and that the project is based on an outdated Environmental Impact Evaluation and is underestimating the damage that this construction project will have on local plants and wildlife.

The State Bond Commission is expected to vote on whether to approve $9,107,769 in state bonding for Silver Sands when it meets on Wednesday, November 29 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. This funding is to be used in the construction of a bath house building, lifeguard and staff office, concession building, and a maintenance facility.

“No one wants this project and the state of Connecticut cannot afford it,” said Senator Slossberg. “Milford residents have been unified and vocal in their opposition to the buildout of Silver Sands. They have raised numerous concerns about the project, but those concerns have never been resolved, and in many cases never acknowledged. $9 million can do a lot of good if spent on education, social services or more beneficial forms of infrastructure investment. I urge Governor Malloy and other members of the State Bond Commission to vote no on this project and consider a better way to allocate state funds than toward a widely opposed and poorly-planned construction project.”

“As we discussed earlier this morning, the State is preparing to dump another ten million dollars into Silver Sands State Park to build massive ticket booths, maintenance facilities, and beachside administrative offices that no one wants. At the same time, this State government is facing an enormous deficit and slashing funding everywhere, including cutting lifeguards that would help keep Silver Sands swimmers safe. We’d much prefer to see safe beaches staffed with lifeguards, as well as the Park’s natural environment kept up, and avoid any expensive projects which will have such a huge negative impact on the traffic, parking, and public safety in the streets and neighborhoods adjacent to Silver Sands,” said Milford Mayor Ben Blake.

“I was deeply concerned and disillusioned to learn that the Connecticut State Bond Commission is slated to vote on approving $9 million in funding for the first phase of construction for a bathhouse, lifeguard office, concession stand and maintenance facility at Silver Sands State Park. I along with countless residents and municipal leaders have voiced concerns over this project’s potential negative effect on the environment, local community and the public’s safety,” said state Representative Kim Rose (D-Milford). “With Milford expected to receive a $2 million reduction in state aid, and the fact that Connecticut is continuing to face a deficit, I believe this money could be better spent on restoring some of the town’s vital services and programs.”

“Aside from the fact that the state’s credit card is maxed out—this project is not an essential function of government, not wanted, and not needed,” says State Rep. Pam Staneski, “It goes against the very rational for the state’s prior investment in the revitalization of the Walnut Beach area. Small businesses have flourished in recent years because visitors to Silver Sands Park have frequented the adjacent Walnut Beach area, and building a concession stand will harm those businesses and our local economy,” said Representative Pam Staneski.

Last week, Slossberg drafted a letter to the State Bond Commission, calling for a rejection of the $9 million to Silver Sands. In the letter, Slossberg cited the multiple causes for opposition to the buildout that have been voiced by Milford residents, including:

  • The high cost this buildout will impose on taxpayers while Connecticut remains in deficit;
  • The fact that this project is based on an outdated Environmental Impact Evaluation, and may pose a serious threat to wildlife and the local ecosystem;
  • The significant negative impact that the proposed concession stand will have on local small businesses;
  • The plan to collect tolls may make it too expensive for residents and their families to visit a beach they have been enjoying for years;
  • Increased traffic caused by the buildout may cause parking and roadway safety issues; and
  • There has not been any recent communication between the Department of Environmental Protection and the legislative delegation or the City of Milford, evidencing the State’s unwillingness to take Milford’s concerns into consideration.

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