The Winslow Town Council has approved the use of nearly $100,000 over two years to match a Maine Bureau of Parks and Land grant to rebuild historic Fort Halifax Park.

Town Manager Michael Heavener said the town can now acquire the permits needed to begin construction of the redesigned park next spring.

“Back in 2011, the park planning committee began looking for grants, and we applied for a couple, including a Maine Department of Transportation one, but they weren’t successful,” Heavener said. “This past winter, we applied for a grant with the Bureau of Parks and Recreation and found out in July that we were approved.”

The plan calls for a granite outline representing the location of the original fort, walking trails along the Kennebec River, a paved parking lot and new educational signs with historic information about the park and area wildlife.

The entire project is estimated to cost more than $193,000, with nearly $96,000 coming from the grant, which was approved on July 15. The town council last week approved the use of the town’s matching share of more than $97,000 over the next two fiscal years, with about $50,000 coming in the form of in-kind services from the Winslow Public Works Department in the form of labor and the use of town equipment.

The majority of the costs for the project come from paving, estimated at $50,000, and labor and equipment, also estimated at $50,000. Roughly $20,000 is earmarked for granite curbing, while engineering, design and permit fees are estimated at nearly $19,000.


The Fort Halifax Park concept master plan, which was approved in 2011, calls for four major upgrades to the park, the biggest being the relocation of the parking lot to the north side of the park behind J&S Oil, so that the outline of the original 140-foot long fort can be outlined with granite blocks, while a 30-foot-by-30-foot display area with benches and informational signage will provide historical information about the fort. An eight-foot high stockade fence would connect the existing blockhouse to the rest of the fort outline. The 20-foot-by-70-foot parking lot will hold up to 23 cars. The railroad crossing would have to be modified for the parking lot, according to the plan.

In addition to the fort outline and parking lot, a five-foot-by-100-foot sidewalk will connect the parking lot to the display area and the existing sidewalk on U.S. Route 201, and two walking trails will lead through the park toward the river.

The existing block house is the only original structure from Fort Halifax, dating back to 1754 during the French and Indian War between the English and the French. It was washed away during the flood of 1987 before being rebuilt using logs recovered after the flood.

The area is considered a National Historic Landmark and is bordered by the Kennebec and Sebasticook rivers.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @jessescardina

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