Parks & Rec Postpones Toilet, Smoking Votes

Two big changes — a portable toilet at Old Mill Beach, and a smoking ban at all beaches and town recreation areas — were on Westport’s Parks & Recreation Commission agenda last night.

No action was taken — though not for lack of interest.

“06880” intern Colin Morgeson reports there was plenty of concern about the proposed port-a-potty. It would be kept away from the 64 parking spots, guard shack, and 39 nearby private properties.

Parks & Recreation director Jen Fava noted, “there kinda isn’t a good location.”

Commission member Chrissy O’Keeffe asked, “What do we want Old Mill to be? To me it’s a beautiful little enclave, not the kind of place you would go for a whole day. That’s something everyone in town knows about Old Mill.”

A vote was postponed, due to the absence of the lead petitioners asking for the toilet.

A portable toilet on Old Mill Beach would be situated away from parking spaces — and homes.

The commission then discussed smoking at town beaches, pools, athletic fields and racquet courts, and where — if at all — the use of tobacco and cannabis should be permitted. A ban would not include the Longshore golf course, passive town parks or parking lots.

Members focused on how surrounding communities have approached the issue. Smoking bans based on proximity to amenities have worked, as opposed to wide bans.

O’Keeffe noted the importance of communication, to minimize confusion.

A vote was postponed to a future date.

There’s a lot of room at Compo Beach. Would a smoking ban work there? (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Though the town’s tennis courts are in better condition than in recent years, commissioners also heard concerns about softness at Longshore tennis. Resident Lloyd Clareman recommended increasing the amount of water and calcium chloride.

Parks & Rec operations manager Carmen Roda reported that adjustments have been made in the timing and frequency of watering. Calcium chloride is being worked into the budget.

(There’s always something going on at our beaches — and on “06880.” Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

10 responses to “Parks & Rec Postpones Toilet, Smoking Votes

  1. Smoking at town facilities isn’t a problem. Why spend energy and money( posting of signs etc) chasing this. Efforts better directed to maintaining facilities eg: cracks on school cracks as reported in
    a prior blog. Telling the golfers they can’t have the occasional cigar is like telling beach goers they can’t have that beer or sneak that glass of wine. Who is going to police this wish list?

    • Longshore Golf course was not proposed for inclusion in any smoking ban. See Dan’s post above.

  2. I’m begging you not to put a porta-potty at Old Mill. If folks beaching it feel the need for more amenities, we have Compo, BH Beach and Sherwood Island…

    • Too many people spend too much time there not to offer a basic service for when nature calls. Could easily be placed in the corner of the parking lot so it’s somewhat out of the way & sight. Frankly been wondering what took so long for this to happen.

  3. Aside from the smell and health issues, a problem with cigarette smokers is where they dispose of their “litter,” I’m always amazed that they can’t use the ash tray in their vehicles when I see butts al over the streets. I guess it’s like the dog poop bags….let someone else clean up after them.

  4. Why not just pee in the water? *(asking for a friend).

  5. Stephen Axthelm

    Oh how I miss being in the middle of these debates like during my years on the Commission! Uh, okay, not. But here’s a thought… Not sure if any data has been collected or projected but if the volume isn’t assumed to be very high (and Hillspoint has sewers, which I believe it does) why not offer the Old Mill Grocery a contract to be available for bathroom use? It would support their wonderful mission and drive some traffic. And no nasty PortoPotty.

  6. I agree that butts should be disposed of in your car’s ashtray, located right next to the pop-out cigarette lighter, just under the AM radio…

  7. James V McKay


  8. Dan, although I no longer live in Westport, I was a resident of the Old Mill Beach for 20 years and have gone to that beach since 1956. My family has been a taxpayer in Westport since the mid 1950s. I would like to contact Parks and Rec concerning the port a potty planned for the Old Mill. I am firmly against it. They are an eye sore, a target for vandalism, and a hazard in strong winds when they can blow over no matter how well grounded. Please send me email for Parks and Rec. love getting your emails.

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