CANDLEWOOD — Two of the lake authority’s patrol boats were put out of commission this summer, coming at a time when the coronavirus and increased traffic on the lake put even more of a strain on the marine patrol.
The Candlewood Lake Authority now seeks $60,000 from each of the five lake towns to purchase two new patrol boats in time for the summer. None have made a decision yet.
“I’ve never seen a season like this,” Mark Toussaint, one of New Milford’s delegates, told New Milford Town Council this week. “We really need your help.”
New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman have all decided to vote on approving funding later after receiving more input and information, including where that money would come from in their own budgets. The lake authority is expected to present the proposal to Brookfield and Danbury next week.
The towns have until the end of the month to decide so that the boats can be prepared in time for the season. Some are considering approving the funds as long as all of the other towns do too.
Costs range from about $100,000 for a Boston Whaler to about $150,000 for the Metal Shark. The third main option is about $143,000 for a Silver Ships.
Authority members said they would prefer an aluminum hull, which is more expensive than a fiberglass one, because of all of the towing the marine patrol does. It’s also becoming the standard among patrol and fire boats.
“I think we need to take our equipment to the next level,” Toussaint said.
These options were selected based on the authority’s research and speaking with other lake authorities and law enforcement throughout Connecticut and the northeast.
“We know it’s a difficult time for municipalities,” said Joan Archer, a New Fairfield authority delegate. “It’s