FARMINGTON — Access to two beaches on the Sandy River, a new handicapped-accessible parking area and signage are first steps in an adaptive multi-use trail system approved unanimously Tuesday by Selectmen.

Farmington Selectmen approved a request from the University of Maine Farmington to incorporate town-owned land off Front Street into an adaptive multi-use trail system. Pictured from left during the vote are Selectmen Michael Fogg, Stephan Bunker (partially hidden) and Joshua Bell; Town Manager Richard Davis, Executive Secretary Nancy Martin and Selectmen Scott Landry and Matthew Smith. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Selectman Michael Fogg said, “It’s excellent. Its one of the few times we get to do a cooperative venture with the town. We need to do that every now and again.

“It will certainly benefit a good majority of people.”

Town-owned land will be incorporated in the trail system being developed by the University of Maine at Farmington.

UMF professor Scott Hoisington said three years ago Nordic trails were created on the athletic fields off Front Street.

“We have a Mainely Outdoors center on campus,” he said. “A lot of students can’t make it to Titcomb (Mountain). We wanted to provide them with access for Nordic skiing.

“We got a snowmobile donated, started grooming around the fields, went into the woods a bit. In the summertime we mowed down grass, made some trails to walk on. We also opened up more access to the beaches on the Sandy River.”

Hoisington told the board a $25,000 Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grant was denied two years ago with a $3,500 grant being approved this year.

Two kiosks to tell where the trails are and nature signs which include Braille and large print for people with disabilities will be installed.

Existing trails will be expanded and made accessible for all. Walking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and bird watching are some of the expected uses of the trail system.

Hoisington said the day care center going in nearby could use the area.

He said the current parking lot near the athletic fields has a pretty good drop to get to. Handicapped-accessible parking will be in the area where the snow dump used to be.

Town Manager Richard Davis said, “It’s level. It was used for a lay down yard for the Front Street improvement (project) so it’s pretty good access.”

When asked, Hoisington said students will take care of maintaining the trails.

There is a snowmobile trail there but other motorized vehicles such as ATV’s will not be allowed.

Earlier in the meeting the board approved the conversion of Green Grow LLC ‘s medical marijuana business to adult use marijuana. Owner Mike McInnis said while he is waiting for the state to finish their side of things he is prepared to go forward with the change to recreational adult use.

The board approved converting a LESO-acquired Freightliner 10-wheeler truck to a plow truck using $67,520 from the Public Works equipment reserve fund. The conversion will pretty much deplete that account.

Two years ago a similar conversion was done for about $65,000 Davis said.

Public Works Director Philip Hutchins said the Freightliner will replace the state-acquired 2002 Volvo.

“It’s the oldest truck in the fleet,” he said. “It does the Wilton road.

“HP Fairfield will build a chute (on the Freightliner) to drop salt on the center line. With a four seasons body we can put it on other routes if we have to. It’s going to be a good all-round truck.”

Selectmen accepted a $29,944 Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation grant to purchase Hurst cutter and spreader packages, two Hurst ram packages and mounting system for the Farmington Fire Rescue Dept. Davis said the equipment is in line with other equipment purchased for rescues.

Acting Fire Chief Tim Hardy said Gerry Pineau and Capt. TD Hardy wrote the grant.

“We received word last week,” he said. “Once we receive the tools they’d like to do a media, PR thing.

“This equipment was applied for so we can add it to our extrication capability when our new engine shows up.”

The board approved spending $18,000 from the Police Academy reserve account to reimburse the Carrabassett Valley Police Dept. for the training of Ethan Boyd, who is now a full-time officer with the Farmington Police Dept.

Police Chief Jack Peck said Boyd graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 2016. He had been employed by the Carrabassett Valley Police Dept. since 2015.

“We were lucky enough to recruit him to town,” Peck said.

Peck introduced Boyd and part-time officer Roger Bachelder to the board. Bachelder is a full-time officer for the Livermore Falls Police Dept. He worked some Farmington shifts, fair details in September.

“We’ve been down several officers for over a year. It’s very welcome to have one full-time and one part-time to help us out,” Peck said.

In other business, the board consented to the registration by Farmington Emblem Club #460 to operate Beano/Bingo at the West Farmington Elks Lodge on March 15.


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