New parking lots at Brunswick hospital move forward

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BRUNSWICK — Mid Coast Hospital is planning to add 115 parking spaces in three new lots.

The need for more parking stems from increased traffic after the hospital’s merger with Parkview Adventist Medical Center – which was absorbed by Mid Coast last August after filing for bankruptcy – Mid Coast Facilities Director Michael Pinkham said.

On top of that, he said, Mid Coast’s business has grown 35 percent since 2001. “There’s a real need for more close parking spots,” Pinkham said in an interview Tuesday.

The Planning Board signed off on initial sketch plan for the project June 28 with a unanimous vote, allowing Pinkham and Project Manager Robert Prue, of Pine Tree Engineering, to move forward on a final plan.

Planning Board Chairman Charlie Frizzle chose not to recuse himself from the vote, despite formerly serving on Mid Coast’s board and currently sitting on several of its committees, including the building committee.

“Normally, I would elect to recuse myself,” he said, “but with less than a full board (present) … (I believe) the public and the applicant would be better served if I continued,” he said.

With two of seven members absent, the remaining board members did not object to Frizzle’s decision. After hearing no objection from the public in attendance, Frizzle remained in the process.

The hospital’s plan, as it now stands, calls for three lots: one with 48 additional spaces across the street from the medical building at 81 Medical Center Drive, and two with a combined 67 spaces behind it.

The proposed lots are outside the Natural Resources Protection Zone and mapped Wildlife Habitat Block on the parcel, according to a memo from Town Planner Jared Woolston.

A final plan will come before the board again in about a month, according to Pinkham. They hope to begin construction in October, and have the new lots ready by winter.

Walter Wuthmann can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow Walter on Twitter: @wwuthmann.

Mid Coast Hospital at 123 Medical Center Drive.

Brunswick/Harpswell reporter for The Forecaster. Bowdoin College grad, San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow for municipal, school, community, and environmental news from the Midcoast.