Stamford sailing program ordered to move out

STAMFORD - A local community organization is pushing for the removal of sailing camp trailers from Southfield Park, but the program?s leader says that until they have funds for a new place, they will stay put.

The Stamford Sailing Program has a lease at Southfield Park, but not for the space its trailers have been occupying for the past three years in violation of the lease agreement.

However, Henry Marx, the program?s chairman, says he has been scrambling to raise money for a new facility, and for the time being, the trailers cannot be moved without displacing the children that are taking part in the program.

?The kids in this program are not our problem, we love the kids in this program,? says Ben Velishka, the president of the Waterside Coalition.

Velishka says the problem is the location of the program, and the fact that the trailers have become an eyesore to the community.

?They have put the boat corral in the center of an area that's used for picnicking,? he says.

Marx agrees that the small trailers are not the ideal teaching environment, but until they raise enough money for a new building, that is all they have.

?I say they start writing us checks, but no one seems to want to do that,? Marx says.

According to Velishka, the community has tried to cooperate with the sailing program and to find a solution, but working with Marx has been difficult.

Teachers at the sailing camp say they hope the battle between the program?s administration and the town doesn't hurt the children enrolled in the program.

Stamford's Director of Operations, Ben Barnes, says he is aware of the controversy, and he is backing the sailing program. Barnes says the city is working on re-negotiating the lease and helping the sailing camp find another location.

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