Sen. Linares Supporting Bill to Help Salvage East Haddam’s Sunrise State Park [East Haddam Today]

March 14, 2013

Article as it appeared in East Haddam Today

The Connecticut Legislature’s Environment Committee heard testimony on Friday (March 8, 2013) on a proposed bill that would require the DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) to give a report on the status of the Sunrise Resort State Park in East Haddam, CT and develop a plan to assure the safety of the property.

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R- East Haddam) has pushed for a plan for Sunrise Resort since taking office in January 2013. She says she concerned that the property has “devolved into an abandoned collection of rundown buildings that presents a significant safety hazard to the public and welcomes illicit behavior such as drug use, squatters and arson.”

The property, once a recreational destination for vacationers, was acquired by the state in 2008.

As a member of the Environment Committee, Ziobron cannot testify on the matter but did use the opportunity to question members of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“This park, unlike most parks, is actually open at night and so you have activity occurring all night long that is completely unsupervised and it has become a haven, almost an attractive nuisance, for a lot of people in my community and it is a big concern,” Ziobron said.

Ziobron wants to see a detailed plan of demolition of buildings at Sunrise Resort because of concern that two historic buildings on the property might be adversely affected, she said.

The DEEP assured her at the hearing that care would be taken to proceed cautiously.

State Sen. Art Linares, who commended Ziobron for her leadership on the subject, also submitted testimony in favor of the bill and said that the property, with some care, can once again become a recreational destination in the region.

“Our goal is to help salvage Sunrise State Park,” Sen. Linares said. “Neglect and vandalism have turned this 143-acre property into an abandoned state resource. This bill calls for the development of a plan for the property and one that solves the site’s safety issues. This property was once a point of local and regional pride. It can be again.”

The Environment Committee has until April 3 to determine whether or not it will approve this legislation and move it forward.

Melissa Ziobron represents the 34th District, which includes East Haddam, East Hampton and a section of Colchester.

For a YouTube video of Ziobron’s March 8 discussion with DEEP staff click here –

Posted March 10, 2013 based on a press release as edited by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan