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News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 11, 2011
$250,000 state grant awarded for Walker Pond access

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by Jonathan Thomas

The Walker Pond access road and public boat landing may be completed this year after all. Nelson Grindal, acting as agent for the Sedgwick and Brooksville boards of selectmen, told the two boards on August 10 that the Maine Department of Conservation had awarded a grant of up to $250,000 for project.

The two towns, working in partnership, received permits earlier this year for a 22-foot wide access road, boat landing, and swimming area below Route 15 on Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick.

Because of limited funds, the towns only put the first phase of the project out to bid, with a ten-foot-wide road, and no shore improvements. That work began in June, and is “progressing very well,” according to the towns’ engineer, Andrew McCullough.

McCullough said he has written a letter to the Department of Conservation asking that the existing contract with M.E. Astbury be amended to allow the additional work to continue at the same unit prices. This would avoid the time and expense of a second round of bidding, and possibly having two contractors responsible for the same road.

Details regarding total project cost and the towns’ matching share of costs under the grant were not available at press time.

The meeting began with Marlyn Jensen, a third-generation owner of property on the pond, describing the value of the pond to her and her family. She asked that the selectmen, and the year-round and summer residents avoid “friction” and work together to preserve the pond’s water quality.

In later discussion, the selectmen and others present discussed ways to keep out invasive plant species, while noting the increased sense of cooperation that has developed among all parties.