Pittsfield approves ski slope proposal

Posted Oct. 08, 2008, at 12:23 a.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6:03 a.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Town councilors Tuesday night approved an ambitious year-round recreation plan for the Pinnacle Ski Slope, a 17-acre facility on the Sebasticook River.

The plan, which also will be the subject of a public hearing on Oct. 21 regarding a state grant, focuses on short- and long-term goals, which will provide a range of full-season activities.

Those goals include: creating an ice-skating rink; creating a skateboard park; developing a usable boat launch; rehabilitating the parking lot; developing a trail system; restoring habitat in key areas for educational field trips, bird-watching, fishing and sightseeing; constructing two bird-watching lean-tos; constructing walking steps and platforms in scenic areas; and installing interpretive nature signs.

There was immediate evidence of the plan’s popularity. When the council mentioned the skateboard park, two Maine Central Institute students, who were filming the meeting for WMCI, gave each other the thumbs up.

Ruth said the project would require cooperation among the Pinnacle Park Board, the Pinnacle Ski Club, and the Sebasticook River Watershed Association.

Ruth will submit an application for a state-funded Riverfront Community Development Bond Program Grant that would provide $860. The town would match that 2-to-1, taking $1,720 from the existing Pinnacle Park Fund.

The Pinnacle land is partly owned by MCI and partly owned by the town. Pittsfield has a 75-year lease on the MCI section.

Ruth said if the town obtains the necessary grant funding, the project can be completed by August 2009.

In other business, the town released Central Maine Stone Works of Etna from its ground maintenance contract after numerous complaints this summer about the condition of town parks. The town’s Public Works Department will take over the work, Ruth said, by hiring a summer worker and purchasing a riding lawn mower.

Police Chief Steve Emery introduced a new police reserve officer, Jeremy Leal, and said that a recent speed detail at the town’s schools had been very successful.

“Speeding on School Street was terrible,” Emery said. In just 15 minutes on the first day of school, he handed out four warnings for speed. Emery said a similar patrol near MCI had similar results. “We’re finally getting them to slow down,” he said.

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