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Letter: Beach-renovation thoughts

Published 10:49 am, Friday, April 18, 2014
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I believe a majority of Westporters have coalesced around some major issues for renovation which is being researched by the beach planning committee. We are past the time when doing nothing is going to work. Town residents who are afraid their taxes will go up due to the costs deserve to know that will not happen. I assume whatever funds cannot be diverted from existing budgets to the renovation should be supplemented by fundraising for this purpose. I speak only for myself, and others may seriously disagree. That's the democratic process at work!

South Beach: There seems to be an overemphasis within the committee on parking, transportation and safety issues. We are OK as is. Residents turned out in droves at a recent planning meeting to strongly disapprove of any change to parking at the beach. No change should be made. Bathrooms are desperately needed. Many want a no frills pavilion built to offer shade, and built-in seating. Two or three new, air conditioned bathrooms should be part of the pavilion.

Joey's, eating pavilion, bathrooms and lockers: Do we need lockers at all? Any usage study done? Current ones are dark and dank. Abolish them or rebuild and keep only half. Who uses these anyway? Restaurant, pavilion and bathrooms should be taken down and replaced or completely renovated with restaurant and bathrooms air conditioned. Thw whole area is old and out of date.

Expanded entrance: Increase access two lanes, one for residents with stickers, one for day trippers. Double the fee for day trippers,; a higher cost may cut down on use and relieve overcrowding.

Leave ball fields, playing fields, volley ball, etc. as is: Review whether skate board area is under utilized, and if so, remove it or move it to less central area.

I cannot speak to the boating needs but others can and should weigh in on this.

The planning committee website not easily navigated to allow comments and to see final drafts of proposals. Can they fix this?

Residents should have the right to see a final draft of the plan and to know all the costs and where the funds will come from before a vote is taken. A fundraising committee should be developed and be working toward this end.

Here's to the preservation and renovation of this beautiful town asset.

Doris Forest

Westport