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North Yarmouth economic development plan goes to June vote

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North Yarmouth economic development plan goes to June vote

NORTH YARMOUTH — The first phase of a proposed economic development plan will go to a Town Meeting vote June 15.

The project's goal is to turn a triangular area in the center of town into a more visible, active and inviting town center. The $155,000 expenditure would be funded through a multi-year bond.

The area, which includes Town Hall, runs from the intersection of Routes 9 and 115, up Route 115 and down Parsonage Lane, and then back along Route 9 to the intersection with Route 115.

The public will have a chance on May 23 to weigh in on the proposal, at a meeting to be held at Town Hall at 7 p.m. The project's landscape architect will be there to discuss the plan.

Part of the first phase would include clearing and thinning forested areas to enhance the attractiveness and visibility of Town Hall from Route 9 and Route 115, according to a report from the Economic Development and Sustainability Committee, which has gathered ideas on how to make the most of 114 acres of town-owned land in the village center.

"The Town Hall is (currently) broken off from the other town buildings, and it's not visible," committee member David Perkins said last week.

A path from Wescustogo Hall – a community gathering place where Town Meeting and elections are held – would be installed. It would lead to an approximately 70-foot bridge spanning a Toddy Brook ravine, from which a trail would continue to Town Hall, tying both sides of the town property together for pedestrian access.

"There's a large field next to the Town Hall, where kids play sports," Perkins said. "That will be opened up and visible, so people will understand that's the town office, and that's part of the town center."

The phase could be complete by the summer of 2014, Perkins said.

Future phases could include an entry to Town Hall from Route 115, and walking trails and a playground within that center, as well as relocation to that area of the Old Town House, from where it sits further north on Route 9. The town historical society is interested in that move, Perkins said.

Development of a business park at the spent, town-owned Cassidy Pit could also come later, as well as reuse of North Yarmouth Memorial School, if it is closed.

Later phases could be paid for, in part, with grants, Perkins said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.