Even Without Nixed Splash Pad, Glen Mary Pool Likely Not Opening This Summer

Town Hill Playground Fence Discussed

Shaun Farrar

BAR HARBOR—Monday evening the Parks and Recreation Committee met for its first bi-monthly meeting of April. In attendance were Committee Chair John Kelly, Committee Vice Chair Greg Veilleux, YMCA representative Bob Huff and Public Works Director Bethany Leavitt. Absent were Secretary Desiree Sirois and member Jeff Dobbs.

Glen Mary Pool Reconstruction

Leavitt started out by giving an update on where she is in the planning process and stated that the wetlands designation study of the area surrounding the pool has been completed, but she has not received an actual survey yet. She said another issue was that she was still trying to figure out was what kind of surface would be best to use for the pool itself. Many typical pool surfacing materials won’t stand up to the intended summer and winter use of the pool, and asphalt, which does work for dual season usage, is just not a great material for a pool surface as far as swimming.

There was then discussion about how having a splash pad at Glen Mary will complicate and add a lot of expense to the rebuild for a couple of different reasons. The surface of the splash pad would be hard to winterize and the water filtration and pump system for the splash pad would have to be new and totally separate from the existing pool system. Adding a splash pad to the area would also set the project back due to the extra research and pre-construction planning needed to make it happen.

Because the vast majority of emails received and verbal comments heard by the committee were against having a splash pad, Huff made a motion to eliminate a splash pad feature from the new pool design going forward and Veilleux seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Leavitt then asked if she could get a motion to keep the area natural in character. Huff then amended his motion to include keeping it as natural as possible. Veilleux then seconded the amended motion and it passed unanimously. This amended vote was met with applause from the audience.

After some more discussion about drainage from surrounding streets and the as yet unknown required elevation of the new pool Leavitt stated that she was sorry but the pool would most likely not be ready for use this year.

When the Glen Mary Pool discussion had ended, all seven people in the audience left the council chambers.

Town Hill Playground Fence and “No Dogs” Signage

The West Eden Village Improvement Society put in a request to put a fence around the Town Hill playground and to put up a “no dogs” sign. Kelly spoke about what was already existing at the playground as far as partial fencing and tree lines, stating that obviously the greatest need is to keep children from having access the parking lot and nearby roadway.

Kelly then said that maybe this should be put into the public works budget as an improvement budget line item. 

Veilleux asked what the West Eden Village Improvement Society is and asked if it was willing to ante up a little bit. Leavitt then spoke up and said that she believed that there was going to be some fundraising. This successful effort of Emily Anne Pepper was covered by the Bar Harbor Story in January. The society is more commonly known as the Town Hill Village Improvement Society.

Kelly stated that he would go to the playground and take some photos so that the committee could see what is existing and explore different types of signage. Kelly then brought up the topic of using the playground for gatherings such as birthday parties and what is the threshold for needed to apply for a park usage permit based on the size of the gathering.

It was decided that the fence and signage issues would be put on the next meeting’s agenda and that they would let the park use permit issue go for now unless it became problem in the future.

Movie Night in the Park

The first item on the regular business agenda was a request from the Bar Harbor Food Pantry to hold its second annual Hancock County Food Drive Movie Night in the Park. Their request was to hold the event, which is an outdoor showing of a movie, on the Village Green, on April 29, 2023, from 6 to 10 p.m.

The event is a fundraiser for the Hancock County Food Drive which is a month-long event raising money for food insecure families and children. The movie being shown is Shrek and there is a five-dollar suggested donation. In case of bad weather, the movie will be shown at the same date and time at the YMCA. A detailed list of all the events, including a read-a-thon and a movie night in the park and a Moth-style story hour is available at the food drive’s website.  

A motion to approve the request was made by Veilleux, was seconded by Huff, and was unanimously approved.

Bar Harbor Garden Club

Tom McIntyre represented the Bar Harbor Garden Club at the meeting. The club requested the use of the gravel parking lot at the town’s ballfields on July 15, 2023, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. McIntyre stated that this was the day of the club’s annual garden tour event and that it had been permitted to use the same parking lot in 2021, and it had been very successfully used as a parking area for tour attendees who would then walk or take a shuttle to other locations nearby.

There was discussion from the committee members regarding allowing people to park for free when the town is obviously in the business of making money from parking fees and the fact that that lot is specifically for people utilizing the ballfields. There was also discussion about alternative parking sites.

Ellen Grover, who was in attendance in the audience, suggested using the Conners Emerson parking lot and McIntyre replied that they have already secured that lot for their use. McIntyre also stated that they have been granted permission to use some of the parking areas at the Jackson Lab and that the lab has been very helpful.

Leavitt then suggested that the club could utilize the ferry terminal parking area since the town owns it. Leavitt stated that she was not sure how many cars could park there because they have not had the parking space lines repainted yet but said that it would be at least 100.

There was no vote taken on this request.

Public Works Update

Leavitt stated that for the Main Street sewer project the department had to reject the bid that they had received because it was deficient. The original deadline to finish the project was May 2024, but Leavitt said that probably wouldn’t work out now because she has to send the project out to bid again. She also stated that it would probably be better to wait until fall at this point in time instead of getting started this summer as originally planned.

As part of the construction plan, Leavitt said that the contractors would be able to keep all of their equipment at the site of the old town garage on Cromwell Harbor Road. However, now that the project had to go to bid again, she suggested adding that the winner of the bid can keep their equipment at the gravel ball field’s parking lot, which is closer and more convenient. In exchange for this convenience, the contractor would have to agree to pave the gravel parking lot when they were done with the project. This would save the town on paving costs.


The next Parks and Recreation Committee meeting is scheduled for April 17.

Pepper is still collecting pledges and can be reached at Scottemilyanne@gmail.com

To learn more about the Town Hill Village Improvement Society and help support its work check out the following links:


Our first story about Glen Mary.

To find out more about the Parks and Recreation Committee and to contact its members, click here.

To find out more about the Village Improvement Society, link here.

The MDI YMCA has some open swim times available free to community members. Its schedule is here.

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