Wells Harbor parking lot, as seen earlier this month. The revamped boat launch there can now put two boats in the water at the same time. To help pay for maintenance, there will be a $12 charge to park at the lot during the summer. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

Wells Harbor parking lot, as seen earlier this month. The revamped boat launch there can now put two boats in the water at the same time. To help pay for maintenance, there will be a $12 charge to park at the lot during the summer. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

WELLS — Beginning in the next few days, those want to leave from Wells to spend a day boating on the water will have to pay for the privilege. A pay and display meter is to be installed at the town’s newly revamped Wells Harbor boat launch parking lot. The cost for parking a vehicle and trailer in one of the 50 or so spots at the boat launch parking lot will be $12.

The new boat launch, installed in November, cost about $123,000 and was financed through a state grant and the town, Wells Harbormaster Chris Mayo said during a phone interview on Monday. The state put up $66,300 from a Boating Facilities Grant through state Bureau of Parks and Lands, and also threw in the concrete treads that make up the majority of the ramp.

Using the funds, the town replaced the former single-boat launch with a double launch, allowing two boats to launch at the same time.

With the old launch, he said, those wishing to launch their boat were often waiting in line. Now there are virtually no lines, he said, even on busy days when over 50 boats take off from the harbor.

The new launch “really has paid off in dividends,” Mayo said.

To help pay for maintenance, there will be a charge to park at the Wells Harbor parking lot every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on weekends from Labor Day to Columbus Day. Parking at the lot was formerly free year-round. An automated pay and display meter will be installed within the week. Earlier this month the Board of Selectmen authorized releasing up to $7,500 to pay for the device.

In addition, said Town Manager Jonathan Carter, “during the high season, parking will be restricted to those who will be launching boats and the restaurant employees.” Approximately six to 10 parking spots are reserved for employees of the adjacent Hobbs Harborside Restaurant per a lease agreement with the town, which owns the land the restaurant is located on.

“Because we’ve invested and the state has invested so heavily in making that boat ramp, we felt we should have dedicated parking,” Carter said.

Because the lot will not be open to passenger cars during the summer, Carter said, the town is working to get shuttle buses from other parking areas to the Wells Harbor Community Park for events that take place there.

— Associate Editor Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324, or [email protected]


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