Yarmouth councilors to discuss funding for Madeline Point project

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council has agreed to make some decisions regarding the appropriation of funds to begin public access improvements at Madeline Point this year.

The project was developed by the Harbor and Waterfront Committee, has been vetted by the Planning Board, discussed during public meetings, and will again come before the council on Monday, July 20.

In a workshop last week, Town Manager Nat Tupper said the goal of the project is to “go in and do a better job” organizing the parking and treating the neighbors with respect.

“We are not looking to add more parking or mooring space, we are first looking to improve the use of the land,” he said.

The first phase of the project would be to straighten up the current parking spaces, build bollards and plantings, develop erosion control, create a turn-around area, construct outdoor restrooms, and organize the space for better use and access.

Then, Tupper said the pier, gangway, ramp and float system can be built to provide deep-water access to people with moorings, a place to store dinghies off the beach, and increased use of the waterfront for swimming, fishing and recreational activities.

“We want to move this slowly,” he said, “but complete the capital improvements up front.”

He said the first phase – improvements to the beach area, parking changes, toilet enclosure and tree removal – is estimated at about $25,000. The second phase – pier, gangway and float construction – is estimated at about $150,000. It is not until those projects are complete, Tupper said, that building additional parking along the road and adding more moorings would be considered.

Councilor Jeff Darrel said he is in favor of moving the approval process along, and the councilors agreed to discuss the appropriations at the July 20 meeting.

In conjunction with the construction and organizational project at Madeline Point, Tupper said a shared dinghy system, similar to the one in place in Falmouth, could help to alleviate boat congestion. Instead of waiting for the construction at Madeline Point to be completed, Tupper said it would be wise to start the shared dingy program at Little John to learn more about it.

“When we are ready to move forward with Madeline Point, we’ll know what works,” he said.

Also on July 20, councilors are expected to:

• Approve a small wind energy system for residential or small business use.

• Authorize a property swap of five acres off Sligo Road for the Yarmouth Water District building on Elm Street.

• Approve a request from the Yarmouth Lions Club for roadside club informational signs.

• Ratify a collective bargaining agreement with the Maine Association of Police, Dispatchers Unit.

• Amend the Traffic Ordinance, changing two parking spots on Portland Street near Rosemont Bakery to 30-minute limits.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net