Head Tide Dam work will close site a few days

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 8:30am

    The beach at Head Tide Dam will get more cobble and gravel to replace material lost to high flows of the Sheepscot River after the site’s 2019 makeover, Alna’s planning board heard via Zoom Sept. 8. The beach or wading area will be raised a little to protect the underside of the retaining wall, Inter-Fluve’s Michael Burke said. He said two steps that have settled will be reset, fencing will be fixed and the bottom fencing, deferred due to the steps’ settling, will be installed.

    Midcoast Conservancy’s Shri Verrill said the work continues the project the board approved last year. The board took no new action following the update. The work later this month will involve a crane and will close the site a few days for safety, Burke said. He noted the site has gotten much use this year.

    New board chair Jim Amaral said his family has enjoyed some dinners atop the dam and the “much easier” access for swimming. “I think it’s a great asset for the community.” Verrill told the board, “Now that hopefully lots of the out-of-staters have gone home, you should be able to get a parking spot.”

    In October, the town will propose more plantings at the site and seek a permit for a split-rail fence there, Third Selectman Greg Shute said. 

    Besides making Amaral chair, the board made Taylor McGraw vice chair and Laurie Hiestand secretary. Amaral will look into possibly getting Zoom transcripts to aid minutes. And he will ask Maine Municipal Association about a Newcastle woman’s request to revoke the constraints on a Route 218 subdivision McGraw said the woman plans to buy as one parcel. 

    McGraw said Carol Heaberlin hopes to close on the property later this month. Board members said they might vote via email if MMA said that was OK. Otherwise, they will either call a special meeting or wait and take up the matter Oct. 6, members said.

    The board adopted no finding of fact document to give the appeals board on the planning board’s rejection of Jeff Spinney’s proposed ramp project. As with their past votes on the project, planning board members split 2-2 on proposed facts for approving the project and 2-2 on proposed ones for rejecting it. Amaral said they will give those failed lists to the appeals board. “If it gets tossed back to us after the board of appeals looks at it, we will utilize whichever one is most appropriate,” he said.

    The appeals board will meet on Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 about Spinney’s appeal letter, a town email announced Sept. 11.