MILFORD -- Milford leaders are asking the state's Bond Commission to reject a $9.1 million proposal to build out Silver Sand's State Park.
The proposed construction would create a bath house, lifeguard office, concession stand and maintenance building.
"This is a project that we don't need, and it is a project that we don't want," said State Senator Gayle Slossberg, who spearheaded a press conference at the park Tuesday morning. "If they have to spend the money, please spend it on our roads," said Slossberg.
Slossberg and other local leaders say the expansion may pose a serious environmental threat, increase traffic and hurt local businesses. They say residents never asked for the improvements.
"Never has it come up that we need a maintenance garage or we need a concession stand down here to take business away that's right down at the end of the boardwalk," said Susan Patrick, owner of Walnut Beach Creamery in Milford.
Slossberg said she and other leaders are open to conversations about a scaled-down version of the project, such as only building restrooms. She said they do not want to create an amusement park atmosphere in a place valued for its quiet charm.
"It's so peaceful here," said Slossberg. "And that's what people love about it. It doesn't need to change."
Those in favor of the project believe the park should have amenities like a bath house and concession stand so it is easily accessible for all Connecticut residents.
"The folks in the area would just as soon not have it open to the public," said Pamela Adams, President of Friends of Connecticut State Parks. "They would just like to have it for Milford residents."
Governor Malloy's office issued the following statement to FOX 61:
"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."