Area legislators, DEEP host forum on Sunrise Resort

By Press Release
East Haddam - posted Mon., Oct. 7, 2013
State Sen. Art Linares, East Haddam First Selectman Mark Walter and state Rep. Melissa Ziobron discuss the future of the former Sunrise Resort property with area taxpayers during a Sept. 25 meeting at Nathan Hale Ray High School. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34), state Sen. Art Linares (R-33) and officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recently offered area residents the opportunity to weigh in on the fate of Sunrise State Park at a public meeting driven by community feedback.

The Sept. 25 meeting attracted more than 80 residents who voiced their opinions and expressed concerns over the future of the property. DEEP officials pledged to ensure the mowing of the front fields, protection of the site’s three historical buildings and the re-opening of the park by Nov. 1, 2013.

“I would like to thank DEEP staff for coming to our community and for their willingness to listen as residents gave their input,” said Ziobron, a member of the Environment Committee. “I am still collecting feedback from the public that will be packaged and sent to DEEP officials next week. Anyone who was unable to attend the meeting but would like to share their comments should e-mail me at”

“The meeting was informative and filled with optimism,” Linares said. “Everyone agrees that this site has tremendous potential. We want everyone’s voice is heard when it comes to the future of this local treasure. This is a tremendous opportunity for our region and we will continue to work closely with state and local officials. Contact me at or at 800-842-1421.”

Ziobron added, “For those of us who hold Sunrise State Park close to our hearts, there are exciting plans in the works for greater community involvement in moving this regional landmark forward. Efforts are being made to establish a group called Friends of Sunrise State Park. Those who have interest in helping to establish or join the group can contact me through my website.  Additionally, we are in the process of selecting a date in the next several weeks for a Sunrise State Park community clean-up day. More details will be coming via my e-newsletter, which you can sign up for at”

Ziobron and Linares have pushed for a plan for Sunrise State Park since taking office in January because of concern that the property has devolved into an abandoned collection of rundown buildings that presents a significant safety hazard to the public and welcomes illicit behavior such as drug use, vandals and arson. The property, once a recreational destination for vacationers, was purchased by the state in 2008.

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