State grants are funding improvements at the town's largest beaches.
Work has begun on repaving the parking lot at Penfield Beach, part of a $400,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, while Public Works Director Richard White said the a more recent STEAP grant of $100,000 will be used to make Jennings Beach more accessible to people with disabilities.
He said the work at Jennings Beach will include relocating handicapped parking spaces closer to the beach's entrance, upgrading the bathrooms and making the lifeguard station handicapped accessible for visitors. "We've just got to tweak a few things," White said.
At Penfield, in addition to repaving the main parking lot, the $400,000 grant will cover the cost of installing sidewalks along Fairfield Beach Road.
The new surface at the Penfield lot will be a mixture of traditional asphalt and pavers. The pavers have a hole in the center to allow water to filter back into the ground, and would be used in those areas where cars are parked. The travel lanes through the lot would be paved with asphalt.
Besides providing an aesthetic design element, White said the pavers are also environmentally friendly because they help purify water runoff from the parking lot naturally.
The west side of the Penfield lot is being paved first, White said and should be completed by Memorial Day weekend. Paving the east side of the lot will start the Tuesday after Memorial Day and is expected to be completed by June 12.