HOWLAND, Maine — The town park will have an expanded parking lot to alleviate traffic problems and improve safety, thanks to a 71-16 referendum vote earlier this week, Town Manager Jane Jones said Thursday.

The site of several softball and baseball fields, the park between Coffin Street and Route 6 near the former tannery site frequently has parking problems, especially when a full slate of games is being played during the spring, Jones said.

Park visitors have to park on the grass or along Route 6 because of the lack of parking. The expansion will fix that.

Town Highway Department workers using town equipment will expand the lot starting this fall, filling it in with gravel and leveling it, Jones said.

“That will get the traffic off the street,” she said. “It will improve road safety, especially during games and during events at the park.”

The work will cost about $1,300, which will pay for the gravel, but that total is somewhat deceptive, Jones said. The highway crew will need about a week for the work, which will take them away from other responsibilities.

Tuesday’s referendum was required because the work wasn’t budgeted this year.