The Danbury City Council has approved funding to help pay for a new patrol boat for the Candlewood Lake Authority. $9,905 was approved by the Council earlier this month. Currently, the CLA only has one functional patrol boat which is older than the boat taken out of service. CLA chairperson Phyllis Schaer said in a letter to the leaders of the five towns that surround the lake that the extra workload placed on the remaining boat will affect its operational life. She added that the boat they do have does not have any towing capabilities.
The CLA has committed $18,500 from their capital reserve for the purchase.
Schaer says this is a public safety issue, and a crucial service provided by the CLA. With continued budget cuts by the state, the CLA was advised that there would be only one state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection patrol boat with limited hours available on Candlewood Lake this season, if at all. Schaer says the CLA Marine Patrol cannot provide coverage and law enforcement support properly with only one operating patrol boat.
CLA officials were notified Wednesday that the state Bond Commission approved their grant application, which will reimburse 60% of the purchase price. Boat delivery dates are being estimated at two months from the date of order.
Patrol boats provide 1,100 hours per season on the water from May to September. They respond to boating accidents and medical emergencies, and provide boating law enforcement and Boating Under the Influence control. The patrol boats also provide more than 50 tows per year on average, lost boater assistance, out-of-fuel assistance and removal of boating hazards such as debris and floating logs. The Marine Patrol checks activity at public boat launches, Down the Hatch and Chicken Rock.
They also provide a public safety presence during lake events such as the annual clean up, fireworks and fishing tournaments.