FARMINGTON — Access to two beaches on the Sandy River, a new handicap-accessible parking area and signs are first steps in a multiuse trail system unanimously approved Tuesday by selectmen.

The project by the University of Maine at Farmington involves town land.

Selectman Michael Fogg said, “It’s excellent. It’s one of the few times we get to do a cooperative venture with the town. We need to do that every now and again. It will certainly benefit a good majority of people.”

UMF professor Scott Hoisington said Nordic trails were created on the athletic fields off Front Street three years ago.

“We have a Mainely Outdoors center on campus,” he said. “A lot of students can’t make it to Titcomb (Mountain). We wanted to provide them with access for Nordic skiing.

“We got a snowmobile donated, started grooming around the fields, went into the woods a bit,” he said. “In the summertime we mowed down grass, made some trails to walk on. We also opened up more access to the beaches on the Sandy River.”

Hoisington told the board a $25,000 Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grant was denied two years ago, but a $3,500 grant was approved this year.

Two kiosks will show the trails and nature signs that include Braille and large print will be installed.

Trails will be expanded and made accessible for all. Walking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and bird watching are some planned uses of the trail system.

Handicap-accessible parking will be in the area of the former snow dump.

Town Manager Richard Davis said, “It’s level. It was used for a lay down yard for the Front Street improvement (project) so it’s pretty good access.”

Hoisington said students will maintain the trails.

There is a snowmobile trail but other motorized vehicles will not be allowed.

In other business the board:

  • Approved the conversion of Green Grow LLC ‘s medical marijuana business to adult use marijuana.
  • Approved converting a LESO-acquired Freightliner 10-wheeler truck to a plow truck using $67,520 from the Public Works equipment reserve fund.
  • Accepted a $29,944 Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation grant to purchase extraction equipment.
  • Approved spending $18,000 from the Police Academy reserve account to reimburse the Carrabassett Valley Police Department for the training of Ethan Boyd, who is a full-time officer with the Farmington Police Department.

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