Squantz Pond Walk-Ins May Not Be Allowed for Summer 2017
Over the past two years, we've covered the concerns that New Fairfield's First Selectman, Susan Chapman, has had about the safety of park goers at Squantz Pond.
This could be the summer when walk-ins to the state park may be banned, which Chapman has been fighting for. She told the Newstimes, that walk-ins have been a problem for years, and not because they're from out of town or disorderly. Chapman is worried about their safety. She said walk-ins generate crowds that are way too large for the park to handle. She said once the park is full, visitors will attempt to squeeze their car into any kind of space they're able to find, which occasionally leads to park goers walking along Route 39 which can be dangerous.
The proposed ban will be discussed by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee on Tuesday. Between 1996 and 2011, there has been 15 drownings at Squantz Pond State Park, more than any other park in the state. The state and the town of New Fairfield have had a longtime disagreement about who should monitor those walk-ins. Chapman is adamant that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP) should be responsible for safety at the park.
If the new regulations are voted in, they would most likely go into effect this summer and would include all of Connecticut's state parks.