Garwin Falls parking still a big issues

WILTON – Police Chief Eric Olesen said he is getting more calls about illegal parking on Isaac Frye Highway and Putnam Hill Road by the many out-of-towners who are going to Garwin Falls.

He would like to raise the fine to $100. Town officials decided earlier this year not to tow the cars.

During the regular meeting of the Select Board on Monday, Olesen presented a large packet of letters he had received which contained disputed tickets.

“Every Monday morning I get five to 10 calls from residents about the parking,” he said.

He had driven over Isaac Frye Highway, he said, “and there was barely room for my cruiser. A fire truck wouldn’t make it through.”

Fire Chief Jim Cutler agreed.

A section of Isaac Frye Highway is clearly posted “No parking,” but that is ignored, Olesen said. Some people simply park outside the posted area and walk.

“And they are parking at (Vale End Cemetery) as well,” with some driving into the cemetery itself.

Most of the tickets are given to Massachusetts drivers, he said.

There is also a problem with trash. Every weekend, there are several hundred pounds to be removed.

An unpaid parking fine results a letter, and if still ignored, a court summons. The amount collected does not cover the costs to the police department.

The Select Board agreed to raise the fine and said it was reasonable. Perhaps, they will add more “no parking” signs, and consider how to deal with the cemetery problem.

Olesen invited board members to “come in and look through this.” He indicated a thick file of letters and unpaid parking tickets. The problem is taking up a lot of time.

Because the falls are on private property, officials said they cannot make or enforce rules. A designated parking space holds about five cars. The falls are listed on several websites, and at least one contains, in small print, the restrictions and police vigilance.