FARMINGDALE — Voters will be asked to approve the purchase of a Maine Avenue residence with donated money at a special town meeting scheduled for Saturday.

Town officials propose to demolish the house and, combined with an adjacent town-owned lot, create a 30-space parking lot for the Kennebec River Rail Trail.

Craig Nelson and Todd Bachelder, members of the Farmingdale Commons Committee, told the Board of Selectmen at a meeting last week that the purchase would not cost the town because of expected pledges from the Friends of the Kennebec River Rail Trail and Kennebec Savings Bank. The commons committee will continue raising money to complete the project, they said.

The house at 303 Maine Ave. is for sale with an asking price of $39,900. Earlier this year, the town took ownership of the condemned Harrison property next door and paid Sargent Corp. to demolish it while reconstructing the southern end of U.S. Route 201.

If voters approve and the sale goes through, the town would own the property and give the Friends of the Kennebec River Rail Trail and the Board of Supervisors a conservation easement so they can build a storage shed, set up a picnic table and install a portable toilet at the site. The commons committee has about $40,000 in pledged donations and estimates it would cost another $17,000 to complete the project.

The commons committee was formed last year in hopes of buying the Dragon Cement Property on Pit Street, off James Street and Maine Avenue, to use as an access spot for the rail trail as well as a recreation area. Selectmen had been talking with Dragon management for a couple of years prior to that, after learning of the Maine Department of Transportation’s plans to widen Maine Avenue from DNK Motors to Northern Avenue, eliminating several parking spaces along the Kennebec River Rail Trail.

In November 2010, voters approved spending up to $3,000 for an appraisal of the property. Some residents who were against spending the money argued that the property was polluted with debris and could not be developed.

The state Department of Environment Protection studied the property and concluded that an old boiler and oil tank had once been stored there.

Commons committee members in May gave up on the possibility of buying Dragon Products Co. property. Dragon would not allow the town to conduct an environmental study without a $10,000 nonrefundable deposit and a purchase-and-sale agreement.

Committee members also thought that the $100,000 asking price was too steep and Dragon officials would not budge.

“It’s actually going to be better than the Dragon project because it’s more accessible, more visible and it’s cheaper,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman David Sirois.

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