Proposed park at Airport advances

TRENTON — The idea of using a $1 million federal grant to create a public park at the seaplane ramp at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport has tentatively been endorsed by the board of selectmen here.

That is the option favored by the committee the selectmen appointed this summer to consider various options for using the money.

Jim Fisher of the Hancock County Planning Commission, who has been working with the committee, told the selectmen Tuesday night that the park, as currently envisioned, would include a picnic area, children’s play area, walking trails, interpretive signs and “a small pier and walking ramp down to a float that would be adequate for small craft.”

Mr. Fisher said there are strict guidelines on the types of projects the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) can fund with the federal “transportation enhancement” grant that the department has been holding for the town. For example, he said the money can’t be used for recreation areas, so he will present the park concept to the MDOT as a traffic “turnout.”

“What should be a convincing argument is that this [park] is a place where visitors to the region would stop and enjoy the view, and it could make Trenton more of a destination on the [scenic] byway,” Mr. Fisher said.

The selectmen voted to have Mr. Fisher ask the MDOT to rule on the eligibility of the project options that the local committee has presented, with the waterfront park concept as the top priority.

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]