LINCOLN, Maine — Within two weeks, town officials hope to seek bids from contractors looking to build the area’s first man-made children’s fishing pond on 6.8 acres off River Road, they said Tuesday.
Ted Ocana of Foresight Engineering of Lincoln won the contract last fall to design the project and handed in a finished drawing last week, town code enforcement officer Jerry Davis said. Davis is overseeing the project with town economic development director Ruth Birtz.
Ocana’s original contract called for him to receive $27,500, but that price likely will be reduced because Ocana no longer will have to shepherd the project through the permitting process. Town officials will seek the necessary permits. The project has a budget of $38,000 in town money, Birtz said. It should be a good addition to the town’s recreational offerings.
“There will be several uses there,” Davis said. “There will be walking trails, cross-country skiing. We will put up duck boxes, so it will be habitat-friendly. It should be a big benefit for the children in town, too, because there really aren’t too many areas where ponds are stocked.”
With 13 lakes, ponds and a major river running through it, Lincoln doesn’t lack for fishing opportunities. Only Round Pond and Rocky Brook, which flows into Mattanawcook Lake, are stocked regularly, however, Davis said.
The Rocky Brook stock doesn’t offer much opportunity for fishing, Davis said, as the fish don’t stay in the brook for long.
The pond will be built in wetlands near the Veterans Affairs clinic and Lincoln Regional Airport, about five miles from the Interstate 95 ramps. The state will stock the pond annually. A park just for children will also be included, Davis said, and the pond might be used for ice fishing or skating in winter, depending on its depth.
About 4.87 acres of the total parcel was donated to the town by the Edwards family and will be named after the late family patriarch, George Edwards. The town bought the rest of the land. It is a low-lying wetland, Birtz has said, and will be dammed and filled with water as part of the construction process.
Town officials agreed to use the land for the project because as wetlands it’s unlikely to have any other use, Birtz has said. State conservation officials have tested the water in the wetlands and concluded that it would support the trout they intend to stock in the pond.
The project has had innumerable delays caused by difficulties in finding an engineer at a state agency willing to take on the design of the pond, among other things, Birtz said.
The project should be finished by late fall.