It’s perhaps the biggest turnout ever for a Parks & Recreation Commission session.
And one of the biggest in memory for any public meeting.
The Town Hall full house turned out to hear — and comment on — 2 draft proposals for improvements to Compo Beach.
At 9:05 p.m., the public got to speak. Parks & Rec Commission chair Charlie Haberstroh gave the 1st slots to “anyone under 15 years old.” A number of teens advocated for the skate park, which is not in the current plans.
Another teenager, Theo Koskoff, said simply, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Plenty of other Westporters lined up to speak on other parts of the proposal, such as perimeter parking, the new entrance opposite Bradley Street, and changes to the marina.
A full report will appear in “06880” tomorrow morning.
But one thing was already clear: No one is planning to do anything to the cannons.
This is good news.
In 21 years of attending meetings at Town Hall I have never witnessed anything like what happenned this evening. First of all, due to the overflow crowd I had to park on Main Street. Secondly, with minor exceptions the Committees proposals were universally rejected by the public speakers. Parking at the beach was the number one topic along with the skate board park, maintenance and cost. Nobody wants to lose the beachfront parking. Kids and parents derided the Committees 2 proposals each of which calls for eliminating the skate board park. Facility maintenance became an issue as several speakers asked how maintenance would be handled in the future given that it is not well managed today. Costs were quoted for replacing or refurbishing the main building ranging up to $4 million with another $4 million for paving improvements. These figures did not include other proposed ‘improvements’ so it’s anyones guess as to the final figure which really can’t be determined until some plan is fully fleshed out. It was great to see the public come out in force. It will be interesting to see the results once the Parks and Recreation Commission gets to work session and puts together their own commentary.
Ah, interesting! Teens showing up and having a voice in this – very cool. Wish I was still a Westport res, ’cause I would have been there too!
Rock on Westport civi’s!
And yeah, the Cannons should forever reign, being historic relics ‘an all – no brainer there. I climbed those as a child, and as a teen, and as a post-grad. Would climb them again today, given the opp.
Thanks for covering it Dan. I can say that everyone involved, P&R Commission, P&R Department, The Compo Beach Site Improvement Committee, and the First Selectman are all truly earnest in the desire to do something great here for the community. This process is hard but it is good.
Steve Axthelm, P&R Commissioner
I have to echo the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” refrain. We have a gem as it is. Why no skate board park?? It’s needed and will be greatly utilized.