Better bathhouse by design

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement funding will cover the cost of up to $36,165 to build a new bathhouse at Highland Lake Beach in Bridgton.

Selectmen voted Tuesday to gratefully accept the offer by local developer Mark Lopez and his business partner, Justin McIver, to build the facility at cost. Construction management services for the project will be donated by Lopez’s firm, Criterion Development and McIver’s firm, Main Eco Homes. Lopez said the work will start in early May and will be completed by Memorial Day.

“I personally think this is a no-brainer,” said Selectman Doug Taft, when the action item came up on the agenda. The town had been considering spending around $70,000 or more on the project, using Community Development Block Grant funds.

Since the less expensive facility wasn’t eligible for CDBG funding, there was a question about how it would be funded, Taft acknowledged. But Selectman Paul Hoyt answered that question with what Town Manager Bob Peabody called a “creative suggestion” that FEMA funds could be applied.

In other action Tuesday, Glen “Bear” Zaidman asked the board to support the Wastewater Committee’s request to place ads in The Bridgton News urging voters to reject Question 3 on the June 9 referendum. The strongly-worded ad states that passage of the citizens’ petition maintaining the status quo for sewer allocations would “lock up the downtown to future development” and require taxpayer subsidies beyond the 73 properties currently tied into the system.

Zaidman said the committee also planned to have a column published to explain their position. He said the committee has been working hard for four years to make revisions to the manner in which sewer allocations are managed that will allow for future growth and expansion.

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