Naples Town Beach gets new attractions

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Every beachfront property can benefit from a few attractions.

This summer will bring about a few changes on the town-owned land off Long Lake known as Kent’s Landing.

By next week, a series of flags will mark off the future locations and size of the cupola from the Bay of Naples Hotel, the playground equipment, and the War Veterans’ Monument.

Selectman Robert Caron II discussed the details of plans to add these attractions to the public area.

Most likely, the Veterans’ monument will find a new resting spot closest to Route 302. That will allow it to be more visible to passers-by.

Caron said he planned to walk the space with American Legion Post No. 155 Commander Curtis Merrill, and get a final nod of approval or any advice.

“Also, I have got the measurements for the playground equipment,” Caron said, adding he wanted to talk to Naples Recreation Director Harvey Price and newly-hired Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak about the exact placement.

Selectman Rick Paraschak said the terrain and the fact that the playground equipment would draw young children toward it — those things would factor into finding the best location.

“For me, the obvious place would be on the beach, but up from the beach,” he said.

Chairman Dana Watson said the gravesite of a former landowner must be taken into consideration.

“It cannot block the deceased’s view of the water,” Watson said.

Caron said he wanted to run some ideas by Price since swim classes are held there.

“Maybe, what we’ll do is put flags in the area for the total length and width. It’s good size. It won’t take that long (to install the playground equipment) once we have the right tools,” Caron said.

In a related matter, Paraschak asked about a possible solution — a replacement — for the town’s fireworks barge, which has deteriorated beyond being used safely.

According to Recreation Director Price, the current swimming docks have been problematic at the Town Beach. Those docks might be a good candidate for a future fireworks launching location.

“The docks have floated away for three years in a row,” he said.

Also, the lake levels vary, making it not only dangerous, but also against regulations for anyone to dive from the docks when the water is too low, Price said.

“My interpretation is to take them out. They have been a hassle,” he said.

Children without any parental supervision have used the docks for hanging out, he said.

“I don’t want to use them anymore,” he said, adding the marine infrastructure could be altered for use during the Independence Day fireworks display.

According to Price, there are 15 floating docks that could be put together three-wide and five-long with plywood overlapping the center.

Town Manager Derik Goodine suggested consulting Sam Merriam, owner of Great Northern Docks, to get input on the construction.

“This something we have to look at sooner than later,” Selectman Paraschak said.

Goodine agreed, adding that the town docks on the Causeway were being installed for the summer by midweek.



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