Weed Beach renovations on schedule and on budget
Renovations to Weed Beach are on schedule and within budget despite a few unexpected expenses encountered due to the mild weather.
Weed Beach Building Committee Chairman Debbie Parnon said progress continues to be made on a daily basis and the most recently completed portion of the renovations was the paddle warming hut which was completely enclosed.
"The electrical and plumbing work will begin shortly if it hasn't already. Now crews are working on framing the gazebo and concession stand," Parnon said.
Some of the asphalt near the front and back beaches have also been removed which will increase the amount of beach and natural plantings in the area, Parnon said. As work continues to move forward however, Parnon said a close eye has been kept on the budget.
"The first two change orders we had were approved by the Board of Selectmen for $74,000," Parnon said. "Since then we have included a few unexpected expenses; such as issues with rock removal because there was some ledge that needed to be removed and electrical work."
A total of $137,900 in changes to the budget have been made as a result of the additional expenses. However, Parnon said the project has been able to stay within budget despite the additional expenses.
Democratic Selectman David Bayne asked if the construction company had built in any snow days into the renovation schedule in case work slows down as a result of poor weather.
Architect John Ryan said typical snow fall amounts were factored into the schedule but snowfall amounts like the previous winter brought would cause problems.
"They don't factor in snowfall like last winter so that would impact the schedule," he said.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she was pleased to see how removing asphalt from the beaches helped the overall aesthetic look of the area.
"Making these changes will make for an amazingly positive experience ," she said.
Parnon said one of the most significant changes to the beach has been the removal of utility lines by Connecticut Light & Power.
"Once the poles are removed it will make a huge difference to the beach. Those utility poles really detract from the view of the Long Island Sound," she said.
As construction moves forward, Parnon said the paddle courts have seen increased use because people are going to the beach to see how the construction process is progressing.
"Sue [Swiatek] said the paddle courts are being used a lot right now because people are curious to see what is going on. The paddle warming hut will generate revenue and people will rent it out for parties. It's just such a positive thing," Parnon said.