Falmouth residents invited to forum on Route 100 project

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FALMOUTH — Residents on Sept. 30 will have a chance to weigh in on the redevelopment of Route 100.

Theo Holtwijk, the town’s director of long range planning, said the public forum, which will be held in Town Council Chambers at 6 p.m., is intended to accomplish three things.

It will let the public know what the town, the Route 100 Vision Committee, and a consultant, the Massachusetts-based Fay, Spoffard & Thorndike, will be doing between now and the end of December. Holtwijk said that’s when they hope to have final plans and a cost estimate to present to the Town Council sometime in January 2016.

The estimated cost of redevelopment is $10 million, financed through an existing tax increment financing district, a portion coming from the Maine Department of Transportation, and the rest coming from a bond through future TIF funds. It is expected to go to referendum in June 2016.

The second goal of the public forum is to alert the public of “various key opportunities for public input and involvement,” which Holtwijk said will be “key in helping to shape this project.”

There are several ways for the public to get involved, he said, including committee meetings, the Sept. 30 forum, and another one tentatively scheduled for Dec. 9. On Oct. 7, there will be a visit to the Mill Street Park site, where a pocket park is being proposed on town land. Finally, there will be two weeks worth of individual meetings with Route 100 area residents by the designers.

“We want to make sure we have on-the-ground opportunities to talk one-on-one (with residents),” Holtwijk said.

The final goal of the forum is to discuss the design and preliminary engineering processes, and get feedback from residents. Holtwijk said this will be an opportunity for the public to look at maps of the project to get a better understanding of how it will look and what the impact on nearby properties will be.

“We will talk about what design adjustments the committee has been talking about,” he said, and “get an idea of what issues are on people’s minds.”

“We’ll talk about the current work, opportunities for public input, then let people look at maps and interact directly with the designers,” Holtwijk said.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

A $10 million overhaul of Route 100 in Falmouth is in the works, and will likely go before voters in 2016.

Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.