December 1, 2006
Brunswick gets a public boat launch site, finally
by Kitty Wheeler
After years of controversy, Brunswick will soon have a public deep-water boat launch. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which owns the Mere Point Road site, submitted its final development plan to Brunswick's Planning and Development Department in late July. The department approved it, the Zoning Appeals Board upheld the decision in mid-September, and no one appealed it within the 45-day limit. The facility is scheduled to be built in the spring.
Currently there are no all-tide public facilities for owners to launch their boats in Brunswick. The nearest option is a New Meadows River public launching site.
Several neighbors on the Mere Point Road opposed the project, expressing concern about traffic on the road in the summer, wetlands on the proposed site, the impossibility of putting in a septic tank for restroom accommodations and projected disturbances such as noise, lighting and extended hours of use.
The town upheld the state's application with conditions covering operation and maintenance, a handicapped-accessible picnic table and ADA compliant handrail for the shore access stairway, a town-approved signage plan and paving of road shoulders on the curves along Mere Point Road.
"It's wonderful," commented Brunswick town manager Dan Gerrish. "We have needed a public facility for the community, and it's another recreational service we can provide our citizens."
The state will fund the development of the site and maintain it; the town will cover operational costs, which include expenses of a person on-duty during the summer hours, caring for the Porta-Potties, and keeping the facility clean. These costs will run close to $14,000.00 annually.
-- Kitty Wheeler
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