I received this e-mail from Anna Neumon today.
"The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association needs your help.
I am sending this email as an individual and former Deputy Mayor of Meriden. I am very concerned and appalled that an action of The Meriden Linear Trail Advisory Committee will jeopardize the presence of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association Headquarters in Meriden at Hanover Pond.
The QRWA has a lease with the City, which gives them use of eighty feet of land around the building as well as water access.
On April 23, 2009, @6:30 p.m. Meriden City Hall, room 28, the Linear Trail Committee members will vote on the design of Phase II of the trail. The design shows that the trail will be constructed directly behind the building which QRWA leases and effectively obstruct access to the water. It is irreprehensible that this would be allowed to happen and that the actions of a Committee of the City would cause financial harm to a non-profit organization. This action will heavily impact income from any water related programs as well as make it physically difficult to cross over a paved trail with pedestrians, bicycles, roller blades, baby strollers and wheelchairs etc. passing while carrying a canoe or kayak by staff and youth members.
The QRWA has offered alternative solutions which have fallen on deaf ears (see minutes of meetings posted on City website). The committee seems intent on placing the trail behind the building, regardless of any concerns of or consideration of the QRWA.
Should the committee decide to construct the trail behind the building, it may force the QRWA to move its headquarters and programs to another location in another city. Should you agree that the trail must NOT go behind the building, please attend the meeting on the 23rd if you can not attend, call or write the following, as well as forward this email to inform any interested party of what is about to take place."
Anna P. Neumon
Now, Anna has a long history of community involvement, including terms on the City Council (and its Deputy Mayor) and the Conservation Commission. So, too, does Joe Zajac, who has been heading up the Linear Trail Committee since its successful inception of Phase I of the Meriden Linear Trail. At issue here is the extension of the trail under Phase II, which was approved by the City and undergoing planning for some time. I'm not aware of the details, but it seems strange that there is a possible argument over access. The City has provided property to both organizations to develop greater appreciation of the natural resources in Meriden. I can't see a trail blocking access to Hanover Pond from the QWRA building, nor can I see why trail builders cannot make sure a crossing point can be designed to accommodate the carrying of kayaks, canoes and boats to the pond. Coincidentally, Mary Mushinsky, the Executive Director of QWRA is also the prime supporter of the Wallingford Linear Trail. I'm sure her years of experinence with both entities can provide some enlightened solution.. Before this escalates into another episode of Meriden fighting Meriden, let's hope all parties (The Linear Trail Committee, QWRA, the City) can get in a room and reason together.
There's plenty of outdoors for everybody.