State Representative From New Fairfield Aims to Make Squantz Pond Safer
Pat Callahan is a State Rep from New Fairfield from the 108th General Assebly District which serves New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury and Sherman.
Callahan recently enjoyed a victory in his mission to make Squantz Pond a safer place. Callahan worked alongside Senators Stephen Harding (R-30) and Julie Kushner (D-24) to introduce H.B. 5009 this session. The House approved the measure 132 to 14 and it awaits further legislative action in the Senate.
According to CT House GOP:
"Under this bill, there are several factors for DEEP to consider including the number of visitors that can be safely supervised based on staffing, parking capacity, if pedestrian safety would be threatened by traffic volume, and if the number of vehicles parked along the road would impede emergency vehicle travel."
We reached out to Callahan and asked what's next for the bill, when it would go into effect and why action needed to be taken? This was his response:
"Now that House Bill 5009, has passed the House and now needs to pass the Senate and get signed by the Governor. With Senator Harding and Senator Kushner as co-introducers on the bill I am hopeful it passes the Senate soon.The bill would go into effect January of 2024. Really, what the bill does is allows DEEP to stop walk in park attendance if the attendance reaches safety capacity.
The current conditions are very dangerous because of limited park staff and a body of water at the park for swimming. The area around the park is also a safety issue. Route 39 has no sidewalk or shoulder. However, walk in park goers park their vehicles wherever they can, often illegally and up to 2 miles away and then walk to the park in the road putting their families at risk.This issue has persisted for many years. I have spoken to Park Staff, Law enforcement, and town leaders who all agree that walk in patrons are the issue."
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