LINCOLN – The land of 14 lakes will have a new body of water this spring as part of a $76,000 plan to add a fishing pond and park just for children off River Road, town officials said Tuesday.
After four years of debate between appraisers tasked with assessing the 4.7-acre plot the manmade body of water will go on, the federal Department of Conservation late last month approved Lincoln’s $38,000 matching grant for the project, said Ruth Birtz, a town economic development assistant and zoning enforcement supervisor.
“It looks like the project will finally go forward,” Birtz said Tuesday. “This is a project that has gone on and on and on. It started as a great idea and has just hit snag after snag.”
Town officials started on the plan four years ago, namely to create a fishing pond and park just for children, Town Manager Glenn Aho said.
“It’s more a quality-of-life project than a tourism draw,” Aho said Tuesday. “The development of this pond is a continuation of our beautification efforts as well as our efforts to increase recreation in town, especially for town youth.”
The debate between the appraisers over interpretations of federal requirements consumed much time. The town, which has 13 lakes within its borders and a 14th that it shares with neighboring towns, was given a year’s extension to see if it could resolve the difficulties, and that year would have lapsed in January, Birtz said.
The 4.7 acres is land donated to the town by the Edwards family and will be named after the late family patriarch George Edwards. It’s low-lying wetlands near the site of the veterans clinic under construction, Birtz said. The land will be dammed and filled with water in the spring. The lake will measure at least an acre, she said.
Town officials agreed to use that land for the project because it’s unlikely, as wetlands, to have any other use, Birtz said. State conservation officials have tested the water in the wetlands and concluded that it would support the trout they intend to stock in the pond, Birtz said.
The pond would be the second town water body stocked with fish. Rocky Brook is the other, but that effort is mitigated by the fish migrating into Mattanawcook Lake, she said.
The town also could put swings, play and picnic areas and walking trails into the park, but wouldn’t have room for ball fields, Aho said.
“It has the potential to be really nice,” Birtz said.