FAYETTE — The town has an uphill battle to raise $30,000 by a March 7 deadline that will help create a public park on Hales Pond and Hales Brook.

The 28-acre property, with 1,300 feet of water frontage along the pond and brook, is being offered for sale by David and Roberta Manter. Officials hope to create a state-owned, town-managed park and public recreation area.

The state agreed to buy the property for $80,000 and an additional $30,000 must be raised by the town to assist the Manters with relocating and provide for some cleanup.

So far, $1,000 of that $30,000 has been raised. If the money isn’t raised, the project is off.

Money already donated would be returned to the donors, Town Manager Mark Robinson said. The donated money is being kept in a separate fund approved by voters at last June’s Town Meeting.

The Young Road property is listed with a real estate agency for $135,000, the Manters offered a discount if the property can be preserved for public use, Robinson said. The state also agreed to provide $4,500 in start-up costs for the park.

Roberta Manter said Tuesday the couple would like to get more for the property “but we don’t see it happening.”

The property has been in the Manter family for 40 years.

“It’s a beautiful piece of land, quite long frontage on Hales Pond and Hales Brook with quite a number of interesting geological features,” Manter said. She described a boggy marshy area, a ledge-controlled pool and “a bunch of surfacing whales, big outcroppings of ledge like stair steps into the pond.”

Manter also noted that a feeder brook that runs into Hales Brook also runs parallel to it and in the opposite direction for a long distance. Hales Pond is about 50 feet deep at its deepest point, she said.

Manter said the couple hope to locate closer to family in Bridgton.

She praised Robinson for his work on the project. “He has really bent over backward to try to make this happen,” she said.

A display and a Power Point presentation about the property and an explanation of the opportunities for use will be presented Saturday at a town Keep Me Warm supper, which will raise money for heating assistance. The supper runs 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Fayette Central School.

The town is promoting the effort with a public service announcement: “Hales Pond is situated in the center of a chain of lakes that has long been known as the Thirty Mile River. The Hales Pond Park and Preserve would be located on the eastern shore of the pond near the juncture of the Richmond Mills and Young roads.”

The town does not have a public park with such diverse recreational opportunities. The park would have a dock, swimming area and a place to put in canoes and kayaks.

Some of the benefits, as outlined in the public service announcement, are swimming, picnicking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and skating, and fishing — for stocked trout.

Robinson said existing trails need work and some debris on the property needs to be removed.

He said the Kennebec Land Trust has been instrumental in helping to acquire the property.

The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife has listed the 70-acre Hales Pond in Fayette as one of the lakes in need of guaranteed public access.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]


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