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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

See you at the movies

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— The Park, Beach and Recreation Commission has given tentative approval to the Downtown Milford Business Association’s bid to show six or seven movie nights this summer on the Green.
The commission agreed to waive for now its rule that the Green not have back-to-back events during a three-week period. Some of the dates tentatively identified include May 31, June 7, and Aug. 9 and 23. Names of movies to be shown have not been announced.
Park, Beach and Recreation Commission Chairman Daniel Worroll Jr. said he and Recreation Director William McCarthy, Public Works Director Bruce Kolwicz, and Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. met recently to discuss the movie matter.
“We decided to allow movies on an individual basis,” Worroll said. “If we find the Green damaged, we’ll have to reschedule or cancel.”
As part of the interoffice agency agreement, McCarthy, as recreation director, will have the authority to cancel any movies if he feels the weather and people would damage the Green.
In September, the Downtown Milford Business Association showed its first movie on the Green, the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy classic “Young Frankenstein.” outdoors on a big screen.
It costs about $1,200 to show each movie downtown. The merchants hope the movies will bring residents downtown to shop and would attract people from outside of Milford.
About 400 people are expected to attend each movie.
After every major event on the Green the grass needs to be watered, and the policy to ensure there are not back-to-back events during a three-week period has kept the Green looking “fantastic,” Worroll said.
Organizers need to do a better job of ensuring there are no vehicles on the Green, McCarthy said. Last time, a truck was brought onto the Green and ran over a sprinkler, he said.
McCarthy said the cost for a permit is $100 and the city can charge the merchants association $500.
He said last year the event organizers did not clean up after themselves, and by charging additional money, it could ensure the debris is picked up.
Recreation board Vice Chairwoman Ann Fabian said once the board decided to allow back-to-back events, it is forever changing its policy for the use of the Green.
Recreation board member Kerri Rowland said she was pleased by the turnout for the first movie.
“Most kids and parents stay seated for the most part, and the seniors sit in the lawn chairs. By no means was anyone rowdy or unsafe in my opinion,” Rowland said. “I think it’s a very good thing and kids really like it. I think we should do what we can to support our downtown.”


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