YORK, Maine — Restoration of the Nubble is on track to continue, with voters to see a third phase of work on the May ballot.
The initial phase of restoration began last spring, with Phase 2 coming to completion last fall. Phase 1 involved exterior work to the keeper’s house, the connector building to the lighthouse, the red generator building and the small white keeper’s workshop. During Phase 2, the cast iron tower was repainted and the railing around the light itself was repaired or replaced. New LED lights were also affixed for the annual Lighting of the Nubble.
Costs for phases 1 and 2, at $205,000 to date, and the anticipated funds for Phase 3 are paid for through Sohier Park gift shop revenue. No taxpayer funds are used, though voters must approve the authorization of the funds from the Sohier Park Enterprise Fund. Article 67 on the May ballot will ask voters to authorize the expenditure of $82,000 from the enterprise fund for exterior renovations at the Nubble.
“You will recall that this is part of an ongoing project to restore the lighthouse tower and adjacent buildings at Nubble Lighthouse,” Parks and Recreation Director Robin Cogger wrote in a memo to the Board of Selectmen, which heard an update on the project at its meeting Monday night. “Due to the island environment and harsh conditions it has been successful having the overall project implemented in smaller phases. This has allowed us to prioritize the work and try and avoid a prolonged project during the peak tourist season.”
If approved by voters, Cogger said Phase 3 will begin this spring and include roof repairs to the keeper’s house, generator building and workshop, structural repairs to the keeper’s workshop and replacement of the white picket fence.
The Cape Neddick Light Station is on the National Register of Historic Places so work is approved by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
The Board of Selectmen viewed a video showing the “before and after” of the Nubble restoration thus far, and thanked JB Leslie, the contractor hired by the town to complete the project. Jim Leslie said he’s been working on lighthouses for more than 20 years, and by the time this year is over he will have worked on 23, many along the coast of Maine.
“The workmanship seems incredible,” Selectman Robert Palmer said. “Thank you for taking on Maine’s lighthouses and for taking care of ours.”
In her memo to the board, Cogger said the work done by JB Leslie “has been impressive, to say the least.”
“Jim and his crew have been painstakingly meticulous; paying attention to every possible detail. They are professional and dedicated to the work of light house preservation. Their knowledge and commitment to this project has been an asset to the town,” she said. “The Parks and Recreation Department is looking forward to continuing to work with them to complete Phase 3.”
Sohier Park Committee Chairwoman Brenda Knapp said Leslie was “a great find.”
“Our Nubble is gorgeous,” she said. “I also want to thank the taxpayers. Without the taxpayers authorizing us to spend the money that is raised at the gift shop, we couldn’t do these projects.”