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|Lake Compounce plans detailed
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February 07, 2008
SOUTHINGTON - A new slide proposed for the expanded water park
at the Lake Compounce amusement park would be 75 feet tall. And while
that might seem high, park operators say it will appeal to families,
The slide is just one of the many additions in
a site plan and special permit application for a six-acre expansion,
filed Tuesday with the Planning Department. The Zoning Board of Appeals
garnted a variance in early December allowing a structure taller than
"There is no zoning for amusement parks,"
said Gerald Brick, general manager of Lake Compounce. "We have slides
60 to 70 feet as it is." When completed in 2010, the expansion will
more than double the size of the water park.
The water park
addition is contingent on the relocation of Mount Vernon Road, which
the Town Council approved in June by a unanimous vote. The road would
be moved about 350 feet east. Brick said the road work is expected to
begin this spring. "By next Christmas, we need to build (the addition)
"It's long been planned. It's not a surprise,"
said Town Planner Mary Savage. She said the original 4.8-acre water
park already operates within Southington's boundaries.
documents show a special permit was granted in 1985 to fill in 4.7
acres of wetlands near Mount Vernon Road when the amusement park was
owned by HERCO. Records show that 20,000 cubic yards of fill were used.
In 1994, Lake Compounce was allowed by the state to open temporarily
despite noncompliance with traffic regulations. A certificate was
issued "for approval to be open temporarily to maintain the record as
the oldest continually operating amusement park in the country."
"That's definitely important to us," said Brick. "We blend history and
tradition with new and modern." He said the 85-foot-tall Wildcat
Coaster is 80 years old and the park's carousel dates to 1898.
New attractions planned for the expanded water park include a crow's
nest slide tower, a beach-themed kiddy pool, a "boogie board" wave pool
and a wave-action river.
"We'll have wave pools back to back.
The waves will push into the other pool. It would be the first one in
the country like it," Brick said. The water park is being designed by
Northeast Aquatic Design and Supply of Peabody, Mass.
the planned improvements hinge on approval of state bond money. Funding
for the expansion and infrastructure upgrade is included in a $3.5
million bond request that has yet to be reviewed by the 10-member Bond
A Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing on the special permit application will be held in April.