Penfield Pavilion rebuild “ill-conceived”

To the Editor:

Fairfield town government is well known for its many ill-conceived building projects. The recent Penfield Pavilion rebuild was just one of many, and a very expensive one of many when you add up all of the true costs of the project. The town should really consider the option of tearing it down and starting over now that it has been so damaged by Sandy.

Flood protection for the beach area homes should take first priority for the town and prevention of beach erosion should follow as a close second. Unfortunately, the folks who pushed this Rube Goldberg rebuild put those priorities at the very bottom of the list. Wedding parties and graduation parties took precedence over public safety. And the notion that the income from the parties would pay for the pavilion was a note straight out of Bernie Madoff’s playbook anyway.

The sea wall was a very expensive after thought that ignored both the known hydrology and known hydraulics of the Long Island Sound. The sea wall obviously did not work to prevent flooding with the Sandy storm height that fell two feet short of the 100-year storm. And anybody will tell you that a sea wall will only contribute to beach erosion instead of prevent it. I seriously doubt the town even bothered to seek DEEP approval for the sea wall after watching how the wall came into being, too. DEEP is not particularly found of hardening the shoreline and for good reason.

The dunes, which were first removed to build the pavilion when it was in private hands many, many years ago, should be restored. Sand dunes, as they were know in Jersey shore when I was kid, should be built and established from where they exist today east of the pavilion all the way west to Penfield II. An appropriately sized and tastefully designed public bath house and refreshment stand could be built in what is now the parking lot. Fairfield Beach Road could be pushed to the north in the area to accommodate the reconfiguration, which would also serve to slow down traffic there too.

As one friend says: Let us not just keep on repaving the cow path as we do too often in this town!

Or at the very least, let’s consider

the alternative to doing stupidity one more time.

 

Jim Brown

Fairfield

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