Bangor considering new homes for gazebo, skate park

By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff
Posted March 05, 2012, at 8:31 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Parks and Recreation Department wants to create separate guidelines to govern use of city parks and the waterfront.

“We think the waterfront should have its own set of guidelines to use when deciding when to issue permits and when not to, and whether [a] use qualifies for a permit,” Parks and Recreation Department Director Tracy Willette told members of the City Council’s parks and recreation advisory committee Monday afternoon.

The proposal is in its initial stages and City Solicitor Norm Heitmann is drawing up policy drafts and working out official language.

“We want to create a policy for use of our waterfront and the use of our parks, and also include a follow-up process for people to use if a permit is denied,” said Willette.

Willette said the need to create separate policies for parks and the waterfront became apparent as use of the waterfront has evolved over the last two to three years to primarily include big events such as the American Folk Festival, the KahBang music festival and the Waterfront Concerts.

The committee will take up the proposal again at its next meeting before voting on whether to send it along to the full City Council for its consideration and possible approval.

Also Monday, Willette reported that the gazebo formerly used by the Bangor Band for free public concerts in Paul Bunyan Park — which was disassembled last year as part of construction work for the new Bangor arena — will return, likely on a temporary, rotating basis.

“We are working with another committee, made up primarily of members of the Bangor Band, to work on replacing the gazebo and figure out first where to locate it,” Willette said. “We’re starting out with a list of 10 or 12 and pare that down to the best three or four options.”

The potential new locations include the waterfront, downtown and several city parks.

“We’re going to be evaluating the locations for the next month or two and I think there’s a good chance they’ll try out a few of those locations over the summer,” said Willette. “I think it would be the wisest thing to nail down the location first before rebuilding the gazebo, so we’re probably looking at having the actual gazebo back next year.

“There’s certainly strong sentiment in the community to replace the gazebo and we want to see it replaced. We just want it to be the best fit for the long term.”

In other business Monday, Willette told the the committee that the skate park formerly located behind the Paul Bunyan statue in front of the Bangor Auditorium is being relocated off Maine Avenue near the Bangor Radiator Shop and the What’s the Scoop ice cream shop.

“It is indeed coming back,” said Willette. “We’ve discussed various locations for it since 2000, and this piece of property is city-owned and a great location.”

Willette explained that when the city was evaluating the site, it was discovered that a concrete slab remaining from the days when the property was used for Dow Air Force Base buildings is in much better shape than expected and can be readily adapted for use as the base of the skate park.

He also reported he has met with Bangor residents looking to start up a private, volunteer group interested in helping to pay for and maintain the park and that the desire is to have the skate park open this spring.

Committee members also suggested seeking potential Community Development Block Grant funding to pay for a path or sidewalk connecting the park to Union Street.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story reported that Tom Noble is starting the volunteer group to help pay for and maintain the park. The reference was removed because Noble is not representing the group.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/05/news/bangor/bangor-considering-new-homes-for-gazebo-skate-park/ printed on September 15, 2014