New Milford officials are looking to make swimmers aware of the dangers posed by what looks like a tranquil Housatonic River. With the drowning deaths of two men earlier this month, and two drownings last year, Mayor Pete Bass signed an executive order to limit access to parts of the watercourse system.
He says there have been too many close calls for those choosing to swim in dangerous areas, which also could put first responders at risk. Bass says he's also concerned about COVID-19 spreading through gatherings along the river and exposure to first responders.
Where there are posted signs, no parking will be allowed and vehicles found there will be towed. New Milford Police will be strictly enforcing no parking areas. Bass toured the Parks and River Road area yesterday. Even with the police and park ranger patrols, some continue to park in violation.
More signs and patrols are coming to River Road.
Bass says the crackdown has been planned for months. It was sparked by large gatherings last summer called in as noise complaints because of loud music. Bass was also concerned that children would be playing without life vests.
Dike’s Point, which is owned by FirstLight Power Resources, is closed this year. Bass said cars have been parked at nearby Hill and Plain Elementary School so signs are being posted alerting visitors that the park is closed and their cars will be towed.