As president of the Greens Farms Association, Art Schoeller has a special fondness for Burying Hill Beach.
Over the years, he’s watched the jetty deteriorate. He has an idea on how to keep it safe — without spending one local tax dollar. He says:
An old aphorism suggests it’s better to invest early. Waiting costs more in the long run.
This sign went up at Burying Hill Beach years ago, after lobbying by the Greens Farms Association and concerned neighbors.
“Dangerous” indicates the dire condition of the jetty. While its main purpose is not for pedestrian traffic, it still describes the poor condition of the structure, whose main purpose is to protect the beach.
Up to 40% of the structure has eroded or decayed away, due to normal aging. It was built in 1958. Some research indicates the useful life of a jetty is 30 to 50 years.
Losing the jetty means losing the beach.
The first selectman’s office has already directed Public Works to obtain estimates and permits. This is a “shovel ready” project, estimated to cost $900,000. Not acting now would allow these permits to expire, therefore wasting that investment.
Now we have a chance to finally push this project through — at no cost to the town.
The town of Westport is due to receive $8.4 million in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding from the federal government. On January 5, the Board of Finance will decide whether or not to apply a portion of those funds to this sorely needed project.
As noted in numerous “06880” postings over the years, a thriving community of users beyond Greens Farms residents enjoy the informal, relaxed and quiet nature of Burying Hill Beach.
The Board of Finance will consider CARES funding soon, If you think this is a project worth considering, please contact board members by email: BOFcomments@westportct.gov.