Councilors approved the addition of a Willard Beach Master Plan Committee June 18, expending $50,000 from Capital Improvement Funding to develop a feasibility study and plan to be completed by 2020. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

SOUTH PORTLAND — City councilors approved creation of a Willard Beach Master Plan Committee June 18, and spending up to $50,000 from capital improvement funds to develop a feasibility study and plan to be completed by 2020.

The plan will focus on providing recommendations for beach replenishment, analyzing policies, and the adequacy of beach facilities, and will take environmental conditions into consideration.

The plan must also include proposed project timelines and cost estimates for recommendations, and will include a review of previous plans for Willard Beach.

According to Mayor Claude Morgan, it’s not clear the committee will elect to use the $50,000, but the funds will be available if needed. The money, he said, is not earmarked for anything specific, but can be used to fund the study, expert advice and more.

Any funding not used will roll over into the next capital improvement plan budget and can be reallocated or put back into general funds, Morgan said. After a year, the master plan will be presented to the council, and the committee will be dissolved.

“There was a strong sentiment from me and other councilors that the committee needed to start with the plans that had been created in the past for Willard Beach before moving forward to create new ones,” Councilor Katherine Lewis said. “Because there is so much work to do, we will probably take it up sometime this summer to make sure that committee is off and running.”

Morgan said studies of the past have looked at maintenance at the beach, but may have outdated recommendations.

The committee, to made up of 11 voting members and two non-voting members, will help craft a request for proposals for a consultant, select the consultant, develop a plan that includes input from residents, and present the plan to council.

Staff originally proposed seven voting members and one non-voting member. But in a June 4 workshop the council made it clear it wanted more members to ensure city residents were widely represented.

The voting members will include two residents from District 1; one resident from Districts 2-5; 2 at-large residents from any district; the planning director; the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront director, and the park ranger. Non-voting members will include the District 1 city councilor and the consultant to be hired through the RFP process.

The group will consult with experts from state and federal agencies, including the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and local stakeholders.

Krysteana Scribner can be reached at [email protected] or 780-9094. Follow her on Twitter: @krysteana2016.


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