HOULTON, Maine — The town is closer to turning Riverfront Park into a center for community recreation and gathering thanks to a $22,600 grant from the state’s Riverfront Community Development Bond Program.
Town councilors formally accepted the money last week.
Riverfronts in 14 Maine communities will get a face-lift thanks to nearly $5 million in state bond investments.
Gov. John Baldacci awarded the funds late last month, which were approved in a 2007 statewide election. The bonds can be used to rehabilitate buildings, improve habitat for fish and wildlife, or for parks, trails and other recreation.
Houlton will use its money to create a walking trail that will expand through the park and up Highland Avenue to the Highland Avenue Bridge.
No matching funds are required from the town, according to Town Manager Douglas Hazlett.
In 2005, volunteers on the Riverfront Committee helped raise money to construct a pedestrian walking bridge near Riverfront Park. The trestle is named Gateway Crossing.
The 187-foot structure stretches from the North Street Bridge across the Meduxnekeag River and was designed to give walkers easy access to historic downtown Market Square and the trails alongside the river.
The Riverfront Committee soon afterward created a park furnished with picnic tables and other amenities and significantly landscaped the area. A goal is to create a loop trail around the area.
The grant money will help complete this project, according to Hazlett