Throughout the month of September, Rising Tide Community Market will be undertaking a major parking lot rehabilitation project, however, the co-op will remain open to serve its customers.
The project will improve drainage in the parking lot, add parking spaces, and make the space more aesthetically pleasing, according to Michael Walter, general manager of Rising Tide.
Since the market moved to its 323 Main St. location in 2009, the co-op’s management has been saving money for the reconstruction of the parking lot. The co-op is able to self-fund the project without taking out any additional loans, Walter said.
“When we moved in, it was identified right away that there wasn’t proper drainage in the lot,” Walter said. “Over the years we just kept saving money and everything just kind of came together recently.”
Rising Tide worked with engineering firm Wright-Pierce to develop specifications for the project. Hagar Enterprises Inc., of Damariscotta, is the contractor.
Rising Tide will maintain regular business hours during construction, which is set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The construction is planned in three phases, during which sections of the parking lot will be closed and the traffic flow in and out of the parking lot will change. Signage will be out to direct customers throughout the project, and staff will be available to offer assistance, Walter said.
The dirt path in front of the store will also be paved. Rising Tide has been communicating with the Maine Department of Transportation about the possibility of putting a raised sidewalk in, Walter said.
Rising Tide hosts the Damariscotta Farmers Market in its parking lot from 3-6 p.m. every Monday. During the month of September, while construction is underway, Mobius Inc., next door at 319 Main St., has generously offered to host the market, Walter said.
The FARMS Community Kitchen and Food Learning Center, which is above Rising Tide, did not schedule classes in September.
“We were informed by Michael about the project, so we purposefully did not schedule any programs during construction,” said Marilee Harris, vice president of the FARMS board.
FARMS will resume programming in October, Harris said. For more information about FARMS programs, go to mefarms.org.
Construction is estimated to last three to four weeks, Walter said
In addition to improving the drainage and safety of the parking lot, the project will also add “three or four” parking spaces, Walter said. A second outdoor seating space will also be added.
Rising Tide will offer sales and perks to customers in gratitude for their patience throughout the construction process, Walter said. The staff will also be available to carry groceries for customers.
“We know this will be an inconvenience, but we want to help in any way we can to make this as easy as possible for our customers,” Walter said.
Walter encourages anyone with questions or feedback to call the store at 563-5556.
Updates about the project will be posted on Rising Tide’s Facebook page and at risingtide.coop.