Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Welcome to the website for the town of Falmouth, Maine
Link for ResidentsLink for BusinessesLink for Online Services
Department Links

Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
(207) 781-5253

Shoreline Stabilization Project
Public Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2009
7:00PM, Council Chambers

Jay Reynolds, Interim Director of Parks and Public Works
Nathan Poore, Town Manager
Pete Clark, Wastewater Superintendant
Jonathan Edgerton, Wright-Pierce
Tim Boyce, S.W. Cole Engineering
Public Participants

Jay Reynolds:  Provided introductions of Town staff and the consultant engineers.  Welcomed the public for attending the meeting.  Provided a brief background of the project and outlined the meeting format.

Jonathan Edgerton: Began slide presentation.  Outlined the scope of the proposal and the study areas: Slopes, Strom drain system, sanitary sewer system, street condition.
Outlined other areas of the project, such as mitigation strategies and cost.  An estimate of $30,000-$40,000 per 100 foot section of slope was determined as part of the assessement/report.

Tim Boyce:      Explained the assessment results with regards to slope stability. The presentation identified specific areas of concern, most notably, the area along Shoreline Drive at the end of Avon Street.  Elaborated on the results of his site investigation, this identified the block failures primarily due to wave action at the ‘toe’ of the slope.  A slide was discussed showing a cross section of the existing slope and potential new slopes stabilized with rip-rap (rock).

Jonathan Edgerton:  Elaborated a number of area photos which showed some stable areas with rip-rap and/or natural vegetation.  Also showed areas of instability.
Provided survey assessment results for the sanitary sewer system.  Generally speaking, the system is in good condition.  The manholes were the only areas in need of mitigation, where re-armoring them with rip-rap would be the recommendation.

Pete Clark:     Commented on the condition of the sewer pipes and manholes.

Provided survey assessment results for the storm drain system.  A slide with a drainage system map was shown, which identified the outfalls along the shore.  Generally, the outfalls were in sound condition; however, there are areas of localized erosion around some outfalls.  Minor maintenance-type repairs were recommended for these.
Outlined the Town’s role (Jay) for managing the drainage system and complying with DEP stormwater regulations (NPDES permitting).  Discussed best management practices.  Poor practices, such as dumping brush and lawn clippings, foot traffic erosion, and cutting of vegetation, are occurring in various areas along the shore.
Outlined the assessment results for the streets.  They are generally in good condition.  The aforementioned area (Shoreline at Avon) is at risk from the slope failure and recommends mitigation measures within 12 months.

Nathan Poore:  Discussed the role of the Town with regards to funding, management, and property rights/access.  As the properties exist today, they are not eligible for FEMA funding.  Also, there are state laws that prohibit the expenditure of public monies on private properties.
Discussed the policy implications of the project and next steps.  Next steps include seeking guidance from the Town Council, exploring funding sources, potentially obtaining access rights from property owners, and creating a timeline.

The discussion was opened up to the public for questions and comments:

It was asked if FEMA funding is more available if the properties are publicly owned.  Yes.

It was noted that the Town owns a strip of land along the shore in the project area (in the vicinity of Brown and Carroll Street.  It was also noted that a private property owner completed a stabilization project in this area privately.

Nathan discussed the potential for public/private partnerships with regards to access, maintenance, and ownership.

It was asked how the stabilization work would be accomplished.  Preferably the work would be done from the land side with a large-reach excavator.  If areas cannot be reached from the top of the slope, contractors have traditionally created ‘terraces’ from which to work on.

It was asked if there are any other ‘green’ options, rather than rip-rap.  Some members of the public objected to the rip-rap as the stabilization measure.  As a response, it was stated that the upper portions of the slopes could be treated with vegetative growth and the toe of the slope would be larger rock.  It was also stated that although rip-rap is not aesthetically preferred, it provides sound stabilization.

It was asked to further define the ‘bluff’ and where it starts.  It starts at the elevation at the edge of the road.

It was noted that the measurement from the reed grass to the edge of the road would be beneficial to have for design and permitting purposes.

It was asked if rip-rap treatment along one section would negatively impact another section without rip-rap.  Yes.

It was asked what the vertical rise (feet) is of the bluff.  20 feet +/-.

It was asked if the sewer system would need to be relocated as part of this project.  It is not anticipated that this scope will be part of the project.

It was asked if there was any historical data that shows the incremental change of the shore.  Jonathan E. noted that the Gilsland Farm area was evaluated in 1989 and that the Town’s sewer maps from 1969 have topography on them and that some additional work could be done to compare that data.

It was asked who owns between Shoreline Drive and the water.  The properties along Bayshore Drive and Shoreline Drive are privately owned.

There was discussion about timing of making the repairs and alternative design options.
There was discussion about others in the neighborhood dumping brush and lawn clippings on the private properties along the shore.

It was suggested that the Town may be contacting individual property owners to gage the willingness to participate in some form of a public/private partnership.
With that information, it could be presented to the Town Council in order to obtain guidance.

Nathan thanked the public for attending and providing input to the project.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.


Virtual Towns & Schools Website