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Joyce Endee

Plans in progress for Shep Brown's improvements

January 13, 2021
MEREDITH — Plans are underway for dock area improvements at Shep Brown's Boat Basin, with the town planning a public meeting on the project this summer.

Town Manager Phil Warren talked with the selectmen about the plans in the works for Shep Brown's during the Jan. 4 meeting.

Two of the docks at Shep Browns are owned by the town, while another is owned by Goodhue and Hawkins. Shep Brown's has been working on plans to improve the facility and working closely with the town on a number of aspects.

Warren said the plans were around 50 percent completed and it wasn't the goal that night to revue all of them. He did want to let the board know about what was planned so far.

Warren said Community Development Director John Edgar told him these plans hadn't yet been presented for preliminary review to the Planning Board or Conservation Commission, which Edgar strongly recommended. A preliminary review from both of these entities could help with permitting, approval, and other factors.

The town contracted with Weston and Sampson for a thorough review of the town's waterfront infrastructure. Warren said at some point they would like to bring in the consultant to look over the plans.

They also want to reach out to Goodhue and Hawkins and get them involved in the process. Warren said the Planning Board and Conservation Commission could also be contacted for preliminary work. Through the planning board review process, they would also find and contact abutters.

Warren said more formal board discussion on this should take place in the warmer months when more people are in the area to take part in the discussion.

"It's clear to us about dock space that the docks need to be improved, but there are other things that have been brought up in the past - mainly parking - that no decision has been made by the board as to whether it would or would not be included in improvements," Warren said.

Board chair Ray Moritz said he hoped parking expansion would be part of the conversation. Warren said the process would look at the plans and options to expand and add some spots to that lot.

Moritz asked about the possibility of a third town owned dock in that complex and Warren said that could possibly be discussed.

"As we're all aware docking space is at a prime there so we could," Warren said, saying the consultant offered different configurations on how the docks could look.

The plans will be discussed during the board's second meeting in March.

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