WATERVILLE — A proposed $500,000 river-walk project at Head of Falls is the subject of a special meeting Wednesday night for the public to ask questions and offer input.

The meeting, which will include the first public presentations on the project, will be from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the council chambers at The Center at 93 Main St. downtown.

City Manager Michael Roy said Monday that the city and its consultant on the river-walk project, Mitchell & Associates, landscape designers from Portland, will give presentations on the proposal.

“It’s a walkway along the river with a railing, a 900-foot-long concrete surface with landscaping and lighting,” Roy said.

He said the railing will be decorative but also will serve safety purposes. There will also be at least one lookout point on the river walk.

“There are some elements of the design that we’re not proposing, so the total cost of the walkway is around $900,000, but the committee is proposing a project at approximately $500,000, so we’re leaving out pieces of the design that could be added later,” Roy said. “At this point in time, there’s no plan for any city funding to be part of construction.”

The Waterville Rotary Club last pledged $150,000 toward the project to celebrate the club’s centennial anniversary, and the City Council will be asked to approve sending an application to the state seeking a $300,000 federal grant, according to Roy. He said the city also hopes to get private contributions to help construct the river walk.

The City’s Riverwalk Advisory Committee, which has been meeting about the river-walk design, will not make any recommendations regarding the land at Head of Falls that is not part of the river walk, according to Roy.

The city hopes construction of the river walk will start next year and be completed in 2018, he said.

He and City Engineer Greg Brown encourage people to come to the meeting Wednesday to give input. The next step will be asking councilors to authorize the city to apply for the $300,000 grant, according to Roy.

The city several years ago installed underground water, sewer and electricity at Head of Falls and cleared the property at a cost of a little over $1 million, according to Roy and Brown. In 2010, the city built a plaza west of the Two Cent Bridge that includes benches, trees and other plantings, as well as an informational kiosk and lights.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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