The Wiscasset Public Advisory Committee and Maine Department of Transportation representatives met Tuesday, June 27 to discuss their downtown site walk Friday, June 23.
Project Manager Ernie Martin asked each of the committee members to comment on the site walk and what they had identified as issues that need to be addressed. Several members spoke of restroom facilities, lighting on Railroad Avenue and sidewalks, handicapped parking close to Main Street, benches, kiosks, and a restroom at the future Haggett Garage parking lot.
It was also suggested that some sort of historical sign be placed on the site of the Haggett Garage, and the parking lot be named after the old building.
Committee member Seaver Leslie made a motion to have the committee pause work on the project, make an interim report to the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen, and request approval of details developed to date before continuing work on the project design with the DOT.
Leslie said the site walk identified a number of issues that will require town approval for implementation, and said the project is in conflict with the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances. “We should take a step back, and not waste any more time,” he said.
“I have asked DOT for an impact study on the project, and to date it has not been provided,” Leslie said.
Committee member Steve Christiansen said it would not be a good idea to stop now, and other committee members agreed. The motion did not receive a second.
Martin presented a demonstration of the DOT website for the Wiscasset project, which allows anyone to make comments on the project. The website is maine.gov/mdot/projects/wiscasset/downtown.
The committee will hold its next meeting July 17. The agenda will include discussions of directional signs and Railroad Avenue parking.