Monmouth voters on Tuesday agreed to spend $50,000 to improve parking at the town’s boat launch on Cochnewagon Lake.

The $50,000 in town money will kick in a matching grant from the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, giving the town all of the $100,000 the project is expected to cost.

Voters agreed by a 470-113 margin to spend the money on the project.

Voters at the Town Meeting in June approved spending the money without a specific project in mind. Tuesday’s vote was needed to target that spending.

The boat launch upgrade is the first phase of a three-phase project that includes increased parking and improved facilities at the boat launch and adjacent town beach. The town’s plans are following a master plan developed by engineers Wright Pierce, Town Manager Curtis Lunt said last month.

The $100,000 will be spent to increase parking at the boat launch from five spaces to a dozen or more, Lunt said. The money also will pay for a vault toilet, a waterless outhouse similar to those used at state parks. There are no toilet facilities at the park now.

Lunt said selectmen hope to gain Planning Board approval and complete the permitting process to send the project out to bid this winter. The board hopes the work will be completed next spring.

The second phase of the master plan is to increase parking at the adjacent beach, which Lunt said is expected to cost about another $100,000. The town has set aside money from its Tax Increment Finance district to pay for that project, which Lunt said could begin as early as next summer.

The TIF, which the town created to capture extra tax revenue generated by upgrades to Central Maine Power Co.’s South Monmouth substation, allows the town to pay for projects designed to spur economic development in the downtown. Lunt said that includes parking at the beach, but it would not include projects in the master plan’s third and final phase, which include a platform or gazebolike structure to use as a presentation area and another vault toilet and a changing room. Lunt said the town will “have to find the funds” for that phase of the project. He said town officials will look for funding sources for the third phase in the coming months.

“We hope to have it done in a couple of years,” he said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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