Middletown Town Council member Chris Semonelli has asked his fellow councilors to consider the construction of a at Second Beach, as recommended by the Beach Commission last November.
At Monday evening's budget workshop, Semonelli said he will not ask council to approve the investment as part of the budget, but would like Middletown residents to vote on the bond referendum in November. The proposal will be on the docket at the next council meeting on April 2.
After a review of the feasibility study conducted by RKG associates, the commission recommended the town build the pavilion with an attached events deck. The other option the firm outlined was to build a beach pavilion as well as an event’s pavilion, similar to Easton’s Beach in Newport.
“We need to preserve a very valuable revenue stream to the town of Middletown,” Semonelli said. “Our 2011 revenues were $1.2 million, with stickers at $453,000 and gate receipts at $729,000. An investment in the beach facility is a long overdue investment in this revenue generating stream.”
The firm did not estimate how much direct revenue the events deck would generate, but Semoneli said he believes an investment may increase beach revenues as well as provide provide benefits to the community.
“The upgrade of our facility could also avail itself to use by our area youth, summer programs could be developed to expand on this theme,” Semonelli continued. “I have a host of ideas here that could keep our youth busy during their summer months of idle time.”
The councilor said he had fond memories of the Third beach facility and nighttime family functions. The structure has been declared functionally obsolete by RKG associates.
“It’s a cement block,” said Rian Wilkinson, president of the beach commission. "The beach commission has discussed these issues for some time. We are aware of the present difficult financial situation, but hopefully we will not have to wait another seven or eight years for a new building."