Fairfield seeks public input on Mill Island Park

PHOTO: Mill Island Park, at the northern tip of Mill Island, the large island close to the west bank of the river, in Fairfield, will be the topic of a public input session Jan. 1. (Google map image)

FAIRFIELD — As part of a planning process to re-envision Fairfield’s waterfront and downtown assets, the town Economic and Community Development Committee is inviting the public to participate in a community input and planning workshop to provide feedback on the redevelopment of Mill Island Park.
The public input session is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Fairfield Community Center Gymnasium, 61 Water St. Snow date is the same time and place on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Residents and interested parties are invited to provide feedback, recommend improvements, and engage with committee members and town staff.
The park, which features remnants of the historic United Boxboard and Paper Co. at the northern tip the island, offers expansive views of the Kennebec River. Mill Island Park is owned and maintained by the town, where recent beautification has included removing brush and restoring access and view corridors of the Kennebec River from the western and eastern waterfronts of Mill Island Park. A survey recently conducted by FECDC examined six areas throughout the Island Park, dubbed “zones,” to determine where improvements and redevelopment should be prioritized by the municipality.
“Mill Island Park’s unique geography, combined with its rich history as a manufacturing and industrial site, highlights the Town of Fairfield’s recreational, historical, and educational assets, in addition to its expansive waterfront,” said Town Manager Michelle Flewelling. “Inviting the community to participate in the workshop will allow the Economic and Community Development Committee to create redevelopment initiatives geared towards improving access to the waterfront while highlighting Fairfield’s growing and proximal downtown.”
“Inviting the community to provide critical perspectives into a planning process is a fundamental aspect of community planning and economic development initiatives, leading to more comprehensive and innovative ideas that celebrate a municipality’s unique assets,” said Garvan Donegan, Central Maine Growth Council director of planning, innovation, and economic development. “FECDC’s role in shaping the future of Fairfield’s waterfront development echoes a sentiment of municipal pride while actively planning improvement initiatives to shape the Town’s short- and long-term strategies for growth.”