Rebuild Wescustogo? Meeting will provide guidance for North Yarmouth

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NORTH YARMOUTH — A planning committee will seek public input Thursday, Oct. 17, on whether Wescustogo Hall – destroyed by fire the night of Aug. 29 – should be rebuilt.

The meeting will be held at North Yarmouth Memorial School at 7 p.m.

Al Ahlers, chairman of the North Yarmouth Economic Development and Sustainability Committee, said the gathering would focus on whether to rebuild the town landmark, which hosted events like elections, Town Meeting, dances and receptions. If there is consensus to rebuild, the question would be where, Ahlers said in an email.

The panel has been spearheading a town center economic development plan. Town Meeting voters in June approved spending more than $150,000 on the first phase of the plan, which called for installation of a sidewalk from the fire barn to Wescustogo Hall, along with a path from the hall to an approximately 70-foot bridge that would span Toddy Brook ravine.

A trail would lead from there to Town Hall, tying both sides of the town property together with pedestrian access.

But with a seeded vacant space all that is left where Wescustogo Hall stood for more than half a century, the first phase as planned is no longer viable, unless a new Wescustogo Hall is built on the same location, Ahlers said.

All parts of the first phase of the plan are therefore on hold until a decision is made about whether to rebuild, he said.

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

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.