Monday, July 21, 2008

Stratford Might Kill Long Beach Deal Tonight

On balance I think the plan to sell Long Beach West in Stratford and Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a good idea. Although the beach -- it's one beach with two names, in two municipalities -- will never again be a place where thousands and thousands of people can go for the day to swim or visit an amusement park, or where dozens can live in beachside cottages, there will be plenty of room for people, restored wildlife habitat, and those cottages, which apparently are now a hazar, will be removed.

I am sure that a threat by the Stratford Town Council to kill the deal tonight is way too hasty and sounds more like a way for disgruntled council members to show the mayor who's boss rather than a rational decision.

The feds will pay $10 million for the beach. The state will help pay to remove the cottages. There's a public hearing scheduled for Thursday (which of course will be moot depending on what happens tonight.

Audubon Connecticut is trying to get proponents of the sale to show up in Stratford tonight, at 6:30, for the council meeting, which is in Town Hall. The Connecticut Coastal Access Guide has some information about the beach, here.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Emmett Pepper said...

This is a major priority for CCE, too, though it's not yet up on our website.

Tom, you hit the nail on the head, as far as the reasons for opposing the sale. They are all political. Meanwhile, our environment and additional access to the Sound hangs in the balance.

Let me also second that Stratford residents who care about the Sound should show up tonight and voice your support for federal protection for Long Beach West.

Also, a point of clarification: the $10 million figure is the minimum. My understanding is that the sale price will be based on the Yellow Book (federal standard) value.

11:26 AM  

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