Council approves first reading of beach ordinance
The Fairfield City Council met Monday night and discussed changes to the city’s ordinance about Bonnifield Lake beach.
The council voted 5-1 to approve the first reading of the ordinance. Daryn Hamilton cast the only no vote. After he announced his vote, Hamilton said he voted against the motion because the amended ordinance did not require the beach to be closed if a safety device went missing or was stolen.
The councilors who voted to pass the first reading were Martha Rasmussen, John Revolinski, Tony Hammes, Michael Halley and Connie Boyer, who was acting as mayor pro tempore in the absence of Mayor Ed Malloy.
The original draft of the ordinance included a line which said the beach would be closed if safety devices were not present. City Attorney John Morrissey supported leaving that sentence in there in order for the city to avoid liability.
Bob Klauber, chairman of the beach volunteer committee, told the council he did not like the line about closing the beach.
“It doesn’t seem fair to punish hundreds of swimmers for the crime of one vandal,” he said.
Halley said closing the beach in the absence of a safety device seemed unnecessary.
“When a fire extinguisher is stolen, do you shut down the whole building?” he asked.
Hamilton said he supported the other amendments to the ordinance made during the meeting, such as creating a swim season from April 1 to Oct. 31. Klauber said he supported a swim season of that length, too. “That seems long, but last year the first week of April was in the 80s,” he said. “People wanted to go swimming. I also see people swimming there in mid-October. We thought those dates would be the best to cover everybody.”
Another change to the ordinance pertains to the buoys. The original draft of the ordinance said the buoys are meant only to serve as boundary markers. The amended version removed the word “only.” Halley said this change was made because people were curious if they could rest on the buoys in between laps.
In other news, the council swore in a new police officer, Adam McIntyre.