BRUNSWICK — Brunswick’s town council Monday unanimously approved $355,000 in upgrades at Simpson’s Point.

Acknowledging that the current parking situation presents a safety issue if emergency vehicles need to reach the water, the town expects construction to begin at Simpson’s Point this spring with hopes of having the improvements completed by summer.

The upgrades will include road widening, adding a parallel parking lane and paving down to the turnaround. An additional 800 feet of paving inland from the town’s land on Simpson’s Point Road was also approved. The Simpson’s Point Landing includes boat-launch access to Middle Bay.

The council also decided to remove the concrete and rebar ramp located at the access point, regarding it as a safety hazard.

The council approved using $105,000 from water access funds to construct and pave the parallel parking spaces and to remove the boat ramp. The remaining $250,000 will come from the town’s paving budget.

According to Town Engineer Ryan Barnes in a meeting last week, the parking lane could accommodate between 12 and 15 cars.

Last Wednesday, nine members of the public spoke at a Rivers and Coastal Waters Commission meeting and three expressed concern over the use of the water access fund for paving, asking town officials to use the funds for more direct water access purposes such as funding public swimming spots.

The fund was originally sourced through the sale of 946 Mere Point Road.

“The idea of using water access funds to pave a road just feels uncomfortable,” said Councilor Kate Foye at Monday’s meeting.

Ultimately the town still decided to use the fund for the parking lane, but not to pave the road, leaving about $75,000 in the account.

On Feb. 27, the five closest neighbors to Simpson’s Point submitted a letter outlining six recommendations for the project.

The recommendations include the addition of bike racks to encourage other forms of travel, limited (15 or less) parking spaces for vehicles, increased signage, and licenses for shellfish farmers and island campers to park outside daylight hours.

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