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Project Area

Project Area

Project Area - Copy


Overview

The Thorofare Waterfront project area that was identified in the Town’s application to FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant extends to the end of the Brown’s property on the eastern side, and to end of the Casino’s property on the west. The area outlined in red is most vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding and includes vital social, economic, and transportation hubs – including the ferry terminal and parking lot, locations for our working waterfront and recreational boating, fuel storage and sales, Brown’s Boatyard and Boat Rentals, Waterman’s Community Center and Pre-K classrooms, Hopkins Wharf Gallery, and the Casino Yacht Club.

The project area includes the portion of Main Street shown above but does not extend up to the buildings that are set further back from the ocean, as they are not at high risk of sea level rise and storm surge. That said, businesses and essential services that are set back from the Thorofare along Main Street, such as the Postal Service, the Landing, and Calderwood Hall, are all dependent on our Thorofare Waterfront as our main transportation center. By improving and adapting our Thorofare Waterfront to increasing climate pressures, we aim to preserve this area as a thriving community gathering space and fundamental economic and transportation center on the island.

NOTE: The BRIC scoping grant allows us to identify key challenges and potential solutions within this delineated area, but additional, diverse funding sources can be considered for other project ideas or considerations that are located outside of this area (such as Ferry Landing Beach or the Sewage Treatment Plant).

Why did you choose this area for the scope of this project? Why not extend it to Ferry Landing Beach, the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), or the Bortz Ship House?

Each of these areas was carefully considered as options to include in the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant from FEMA. We decided on the area shown above for several reasons.

On the west side, we stopped at the Casino area because the undeveloped land between there and Ferry Landing Beach poses an access challenge and did not fall into the category of being necessary to hazard mitigation for sea level rise, storm surge, and coastal flooding. Also, the BRIC Grant is especially intended for commercial or recreational structures, rather than undeveloped areas. This does not mean the Town cannot create a better boat ramp at Ferry Landing Beach; it just means the BRIC grant would not be the source of funds.  There are funds available at the State level for boat ramp improvements.

On the east side, the Town was strongly advised by Maine Emergency Management Agency not to include properties that are on the National Historic Register in the grant application, because the bureaucratic hurdles are significant and would jeopardize the feasibility of the project altogether.  The Bortz Ship House is listed on this registry.  Moreover, the Ship House is also not currently used for any commercial or recreational purposes, which makes it a less eligible structure for BRIC Grant funding.

As to our Sewage Treatment Plant, we are working with Olver Associates to determine how best to extend the plant’s working life.  We are currently adjusting chemical inputs, monitoring the results carefully, and coordinating with both Olver and Maine Department of Environmental Protection on the output.  If this alone is successful, we should be able to avoid any capital improvements to the plant for several years.  If this does not work, we will have to look at other options that are likely to require significant funds. 

In December 2022, when the Town applied for the BRIC Grant, the Select Board and Town Administrator determined that rolling the Sewage Treatment Plant into the FEMA grant would have shifted the focus to another significant project that is largely unrelated to sea level rise and climate change and that is highly complex and costly.  Again, there are grant funds that could be used for capital improvements to our plant if that becomes necessary.  The Town Administrator also alerted Representative Chellie Pingree to the possibility of asking for earmark funds for both the Thorofare Waterfront Project and, possibly, the Sewage Treatment Plant.  Please see the attached letter in our TWP Document Center.