An Oakland recreation committee is asking town residents to donate $10,000 to build a public gazebo near the boat launch and beach.

However, Gene Roy said the last thing he wants is for one resident or group to write out a $10,000 check.

“It would be hard to refuse, but what I’d really like is hundreds of residents making small donations,” said Roy, who is also a town librarian. “Then they are going to feel like they all partially own this structure.”

If the residents pull together to fund the proposed gazebo, he said the hope is that a widespread feeling of ownership would deter vandalism and maintain the gazebo as an enjoyable place for events like picnics, weddings and outdoor concerts.

“People could be sitting on the grass at the park and listen to a concert,” said Roy. “It would be a nice gathering point in the summertime.”

Roy said that the town is also looking for skilled help, like those with carpentry or electricity experience, to donate their time.

Some community members have already said they would donate their time to the project, said Roy. The building trades class at Messalonskee High School, under the direction of teacher Bill Smith, has said the students will prefabricate the pieces, and Roy said the Oakland Public Works Department would do the ground work.

Smith said last year he and his students worked on other projects in the community, like dog houses for the Humane Society Waterville Area, and he will be working with some of his advanced woodworking students on this project.

“Hopefully the residents will take notice. We’re always looking for donations to buy new machinery to make stuff like this for the community,” he said.

Hopes are for the project to begin this fall and be finished in time for use next summer. The gazebo would be 24 feet in diameter and be connected to electricity so there could be lights, Roy said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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