By Beth A. Birmingham | Jun 30, 2017
Owls Head — The Harbor Committee is progressing towards its goal of having a municipal pier in Owls Head.
The committee updated the Board of Selectmen June 19, and provided conceptual drawings of the project.
“It appears there will be at least two items on the August town meeting warrant concerning this,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Tom Von Malder said following the meeting.
One would seek the town’s approval to combine two lots — one zoned commercial and the other residential — to make one commercial lot.
At a special town meeting in April 2016, residents approved the purchase of a 1.69-acre harbor property on Lighthouse Road, owned by Thomas and Elizabeth Watkinson, to ensure public and commercial use for residents.
Owls Head already owns a parking lot on the waterfront, but it is not large enough to build a structure to accommodate access to the deep-water area of the harbor, which the Lighthouse Road purchase facilitates.
Committee Member Richard “Dick” Carver explained that the design of the permanent pier would better fit if it were set closer to the second lot owned by the town, so the zoning change is to meet town ordinance setback requirements.
The other article would be to raise or appropriate a sum not to exceed $200,000 as the town’s share of a Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant to be used to construct a recreational park area on Lighthouse Road with a gravel foot path to the current parking lot and access to the new pier.
Carver said the committee is also looking at putting in a hand-carry access point near the pier to allow recreational use for kayaks, canoes, and the like.
The aluminum dock will be 5 feet by 210 feet with an 80-foot ADA gangway. Rough costs on the project include $40,000 for the dredging permit, $7,000 for the dock permit, $75,000 for dredging, $160,000 for the dock and $40,000 for the gangway.
Carver said he is hoping to get everything together in time for town meeting “to let the town have their say” on the matter.
“It is done with the idea of having very little maintenance,” he said, “and available for everybody to use.”
He explained the design will satisfy the fishermen’s need to have the harbor dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers as well. The town must maintain its access to deep water to remain on the Army Corps of Engineers’ list of approved harbors. That status allows for financial assistance with dredging projects.
“It’s a win-win situation,” Carver said,…