Since the start of the new budget year in October, state parks no longer have money for flag, the Day of New London reports. As a result, the poles where the U.S. and Connecticut state flags once flew are bare since the last flags became tattered. Inside the battlefield site, the Stars and Stripesstill fly , thanks to a donation from a local group.
Members of the volunteer group Friends of Connecticut State Parks say this is a glaring example of the "penny wise and pound foolish" approach the state has taken at public recreation areas and historic sites.
"Here we are, a national battlefield, and we do not have flags," Shirley Dunbar-Rose, president of Friends of Fort Griswold, told the Day. The group recently bought five American flags at about $50 each and donated them to the park. They are designated for the flagpole at the center of the battlefield site, she said, but the poles at the entrance will remain empty.
Last fall, the state doubled park entrance fees and camping fees and decided to place park revenues into the state's General Fund. Grant predicted, park attendance will decline, residents will be angry and the state won't realize any new income. For example, It now costs $20 per car unstead of $10 to visit Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme and a park pass has jumped from $50 to $100 per season.
"Residents will be so upset, when they realize that they're not going to see any benefit from the increased fees because the money will be going into the general fund," she said.
As for the flags at Fort Griswold, DEP spokesman Dennis Schain said Wednesday that the agency is trying to find a way to make sure the battlefield flagpoles don't stay bare.