Recap of February 14 Meeting with State Park Officials About Pawtuckaway State Park Expansion

On February 14, 2024, State Park officials held an informational meeting with the Nottingham Planning Board to present updated plans for improvements at Pawtuckaway State Park. It was well attended by members of the public. Representatives from the PLIA Board of Directors, as well as PLIA members and Nottingham residents, came to hear the State’s plans to rebuild, renovate, and construct facilities at the Park using federal ARPA funds.

Johanna Lyons, State Park Planning and Development Specialist, handed out a description of the plan and gave a short talk about new bathhouses, septic systems, and an RV dump station. The original “Preferred Concept” included 35 new RV campsites along the shore and inland above the North Channel. On her handout, Ms. Lyons indicated that “Public comment was not in favor of the proposal.” Therefore, that plan was abandoned, and the State instead went in a new direction to replace five existing bathhouses in the Big Island and Horse Island areas, including new septic systems. The remaining bathhouse on Horse Island was replaced two years ago. That leaves only the toilet facility in the Neals Cove area as not being rebuilt. Read the handout here.

The meeting was then opened for public comment. Several PLIA members spoke in favor of the revised project. Some attendees asked questions about permitting and staging of the construction as well as details on the operation of the dump station.

Ms. Lyons indicated that bids will be solicited in the spring and contracts announced by September. Construction will be phased-in, beginning on Horse Island in October, so campsites there and on Big Island will be closed after September 3, 2024. Neal’s Cove camping will remain open through October. Campsites may be closed on Big Island in 2025 to accommodate construction there.

Here is a link to the State Park’s website with detailed 80% plans.

When the video of the meeting is posted online, you can find it here.

We are grateful that the State took into consideration public concerns about their original plans for 35 new RV campsites and about the inadequate condition of existing toilet and septic facilities.

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