BAR HARBOR — After ten long years, the construction of Barker Park is slated to begin next fall. Final landscaping plans for the grounds were approved by unanimous town council vote Tuesday.
The park, currently a small patch of vacant land next to the post office on Cottage Street downtown, was dedicated to former Town Clerk Jean Barker in 1999 and has been slated for upgrades for nearly a decade. A plaque mounted on a rock and one bench near the sidewalk are the only improvements that have been made on the site.
Development of the park is expected to cost $75,000. The money is slated to come out of a $5.1 million bond package that voters will be asked to approve when they go to the polls in June. The portion of bond payments on the park cost will come from cruise ship fees, not property taxes, according to budget documents.
The center of the park will feature a sculpture to be created this summer at the 2009 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium in Winter Harbor.
Plans for a park have been ongoing since the town purchased the property in 1998, but have hit several snags along the way.
Last fall, the council set the new budget goal for the park at $70,000, and planned to have construction completed by 2010.