Cabins could be coming to Sherwood Island in Westport
HARTFORD -- Three million dollars to build 100 new cabins in state parks throughout Connecticut is expected to be approved during Gov. M. Jodi Rell's final meeting as head of the State Bond Commission.
Rell announced Friday that each cabin may generate thousands of dollars a year in new state revenue as they are built in time for the 100th anniversary of the state park system in 2013.
The bond commission, the agenda for which Rell controls, will vote on the proposal on Friday, Dec. 10.
Camping is currently not allowed at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, which encompasses just over 235 acres of waterfront property in the Greens Farms section of town.
"These cabins will allow our families to have wonderful vacations in our state parks," Rell said in a statement. "The public demand for the small number of cabins we do have has been overwhelming and adding more will allow us to handle the demand and give more visitors a unique Connecticut state parks experience."
The 100 cabins would commemorate the 100 years of state parks, which were first developed in 1913.
"Our state parks allow us to preserve, protect and promote our treasured natural resources," she said.
Currently, the two cabins operated by the state Department of Environmental Protection at Hammonasset Beach in Madison, rent for $70 a night and sleep six people.
Demand is so high for the 14-foot by 17-foot cabins that they are 100-percent booked during the summer when reservations are taken each year on the campground reservation system. The two cabins generate about $10,000 each in revenue. The $3 million in long-term bonding would be invested in site purchase and preparation throughout the state, as well as the construction of the cabins, support buildings and pavilions.
The governor said the state could use Civilian Conservation Corps, DEP staff, as well as trade-union labor to erect them over the next two summers, in time for the 2013 centennial celebration.
Information about renting the state's two cabins is available at: www.reserveamerica.com.