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Web exclusive, November 24, 2010
Walker Pond access committee treads water while awaiting permit

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by Jonathan Thomas

The Sedgwick and Brooksville boards of selectmen, meeting together on November 9, responded to a variety of questions regarding the proposed public access road to Walker Pond, while awaiting a state permit to build it.

The two towns, operating through a “Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement,” are seeking to build a one-mile road from Route 15 at Caterpillar Hill to a town-owned parcel on Walker Pond that would provide swimming, boating, and picnicking. At present, there is no public access to this large pond, which lies between the two towns.

The towns’ engineer, Andrew McCullough, is preparing an application for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection under the stormwater management law to obtain a permit before the work on the project can continue.

As the meeting began, Sedgwick First Selectman Nelson Grindal reviewed a letter from the towns’ attorney, James Patterson, regarding some right-of-way deeds and survey plans that need to be prepared and recorded at the registry of deeds.

During the next hour, several of the eight residents present from the two towns asked questions about the proposed road, such as cost estimates, road maintenance, winter plowing, and availability of funds for the construction. Grindal said that definite answers were not yet available.

There were other questions regarding limitation of boat motor size and protection from invasive plants. Grindal, Sedgwick Second Selectman Colby Pert and other board members explained that, several years ago, the state had declined to impose a motor size limit on Walker Pond in response to substantial opposition at a public hearing.

There was general agreement that efforts should be made to inspect boats using the proposed landing to assure that they are plant-free.

Other board members present and participating in the meeting were Sedgwick Third Selectman Victor Smith, and Brooksville selectmen John Gray, Darrell Fowler and Richard Bakeman. The joint committee meets regularly on the second Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Brooksville town office. The next meeting will be on December 14.