2017-10-11 / Front Page

Trail approved but permits still needed

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer

Kingfield Trail Builders have been granted permission to build a non-motorized use single-track on town-owned property. The new trail is marked in green on this map. The purple trail is a proposed expansion that will be addressed in the future. (Barry Turcotte map)Kingfield Trail Builders have been granted permission to build a non-motorized use single-track on town-owned property. The new trail is marked in green on this map. The purple trail is a proposed expansion that will be addressed in the future. (Barry Turcotte map)
KINGFIELD — During the Oct. 3 Board of Selectmen meeting, the board granted Kingfield Trail Builders permission to build a 1.1 mile singletrack for non-motorized use on municipal property at the southern entrance of town. Representatives from KTB have attended several meetings over the last few months in order to work out trail details with selectmen.

At the Sept. 18 meeting, Kingfield Trail Builder Barry Turcotte presented selectmen with a map of the proposed 1.1 mile trail. The trail will follow the Carrabassett River from the north end of the lot near wastewater treatment, south to the intersection near the snowmobile river crossing. At this juncture, the new trail will turn right and cross the field along the tree line, ending at the field access entrance across from Poland Spring Drive. The trail also includes a spur that will connect to the parking area. These trails were identified by a light green color on Turcotte’s map.

The map also included a 1.8 mile future proposed trail expansion that winds south through the fields from the parking lot beyond the Kingfield/New Portland town line. This proposed trail would connect Kingfield to Freeman Ridge Bike Park, which is currently under construction. This expansion was noted on the map by purple trails.

Traditionally the board does not decide on an issue when it is first presented to them giving selectmen time to hear feedback from the community and time to mull the proposal over before addressing it as a board. At the meeting last Monday, the board agreed to allow the group to build the riverside trail.

Turcotte asked for clarification on the agreement, “We have the okay to start removing the layer of sod along the river?”

“The green that we said originally was okay to use for bikes, is okay to use. The purple — I think we still need to have some discussion on whether we are going to allow that to happen; whether the town is going to allow that to happen,” remarked Chairman Wade Browne.

Turcotte told the board minimal upgrade would be needed to a .3 mile section of the new trail. “The part that is worn in, we don’t really propose to do much to that. The other sections we will remove a 12-inch wide path of sod down to the mineral layer.” Turcotte told the board he and other members of the group had attended the International Mountain Biking Association Trail Building School where they were taught to build and maintain sustainable singletrack.

Although Turcotte was not sure whether all the necessary landowner permissions had been secured, the intent is to connect the Stanley Stream trail to the field trail by way of Mill Street. “Ideally, we would like to have a track through Poland Spring property to the trails on Freeman Ridge,” Turcotte said.

“I think you also needed a little bridge,” said Selectman Brian Hatfield. Turcotte agreed, stating it would be used along the tree line below the parking lot.

Later in the meeting, during Public Comment and after Turcotte left, James Boyce of Freeman asked for clarification of the location of the bridge and trail, hoping it would not cross a gully near the parking area. He recalled coming before the board previously and asking permission to build a bridge across the gully so people utilizing the trail would not get their feet wet. Selectmen were in agreement the bridge the group proposed would be located near the river, not near the parking lot.

Boyce also raised a concern about the trail near the parking area, saying ATVs were routed out of the parking area and onto the dirt access road, not across the grass. “They are not using the existing trail,” he told selectmen.

“Simple fix, we will let them know we expect them to go out that door that we put in there,” stated Browne, referring to using the road rather than building a separate trail. “They have been very open to what we have had for suggestions and I am sure if we tell them that is where they are to start, that is where they will start,” he concluded.

Following the meeting, Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett informed Turcotte via email of several permits that will be required prior to construction of the bridge. Since the proposed bridge is located in an area governed by the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, the group will need to obtain a permit from the Planning Board, as well as a Flood Hazard Permit prior to construction. Additionally, because the area falls into under the Natural Resources Protection Act, Department of Environmental Protection approval is also required.

If the group will be moving more than 10 cubic yards of material in building the trail, a permit will need to be obtained from the town Code Enforcement Officer, as well. Targett also advised the group it would need to establish sediment and erosion control for the entire project before any construction or trail building begins.

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