State OKs money for Sherwood Island improvements

The State Bond Commission Tuesday approved $750,000 to make repairs and improvements at Sherwood Island and two other major shoreline state parks.

"These funds are needed to repair and upgrade infrastructure, such as the electrical and water systems, at Hammonasset Beach, Rocky Neck and Sherwood Island State Parks," Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. "The parks are the most popular destinations in our state park system and it is critical that we continue making the investments necessary for them to be safe and attractive places for our residents."

Rell said the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which administers state parks, had conducted a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the parks to develop a plan for infrastructure improvements.

"These bond funds will allow us to accomplish projects outlined in the first phase of this plan -- which are the items of most immediate importance."

Plans call for work to replace and upgrade several electrical control panels at the three parks in addition to repairing or replacing fire hydrants that are part of the water system at these locations.

The governor noted that the electrical and water systems at the three parks developed in a piecemeal fashion over the years as the parks expanded and grew in size and services. She also said parts of these systems date back many decades and have not previously benefited from upgrades.

Hammonasset Beach State Park is located in Madison. Rocky Neck State Park is located in East Lyme.