Harpswell voters asked to pay more for boat launch repair

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HARPSWELL — Besides voting in primary elections, residents on June 12 will decide whether to spend an additional $40,000 to repair the Mackerel Cove boat launch.

In March, Town Meeting approved $60,000 for the project.

The additional funding is necessary, according to the town’s explanation of the ballot question, because of a design change made “right before” the March 10 Town Meeting.

The project’s original plans called for replacing the lower 40 feet of the launch pavement ramp with concrete boat ramps, and the upper 100 feet with pavement. 

But Department of Environmental Protection standards don’t allow pavement below the high-water mark, according to Deputy Town Administrator Terri Sawyer, who said the “entire ramp below the high tide will instead be constructed with concrete boat ramps,” adding $40,000 to the project cost.

Sawyer added the repair is necessary because the boat launch is “heavily used” and has degraded over the years.

The ballot explanation states the design change was explained to Town Meeting voters. It also states the initial approval of funding in March was necessary because responses to bids last year for the project came in “higher than what the Town had funding for.”

Broken down, the March warrant article sought approval for $35,000 from the town’s Land Acquisition and Improvement Fund and $10,000 from the Town Landings Account, as well as a $15,000 Harbor Management Access grant awarded to the town.

Altogether, if the funds are approved next month, the total project cost estimated by Will Haskell of Gorrill Palmer, the town’s engineering firm, is $100,000.

Voting will take place June 12 at three polling places:

• For Mountain Road and Harpswell Neck residents, voting will be at the Elijah Kellogg Church, also known as Fellowship Hall, at 917 Harpswell Neck Road. 

• Great Islanders can vote at the Cundys Harbor Community Building, 837 Cundys Harbor Road.

• Orrs/Bailey Island residents will be at the old Orrs Island School House, 1594 on Harpswell Islands Road.

Voting hours will be posted on the town website when they are available.

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or eclemente@theforecaster.net. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.

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