There may be some changes coming to state parks as Connecticut moves into a new fiscal year without a General Assembly-approved budget plan in place. State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain says they are working to cover the gaps, find new ways to operate and run the season the way things were last year.
Some changes were made last year, given the budget situation then, with a reduction in guards, DEEP was not able staff some parks seven days a week. Places that traditionally have lifeguards, have signs when there are no guards on duty that say visitors would be swimming at their own risk
Schain says they plan to operate similarly through the rest of the season. There are people staffing the booths, collecting parking fees.
Lifeguards are at Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield on weekends and the busiest days of the week. Schain says they are constantly looking to see how much more coverage can be provided. But he notes that DEEP did send out layoff notices as a result of ongoing budget issues this current fiscal year.
Squantz staff and and state police working with New Fairfield officials to look at ways to better manage traffic, parking outside Squantz and other issues.