Greetings, Squirrel Point Citizens,
The second stage of Squirrel Point Light (SPL)’s external restoration by Blaiklock Carpentry began in early October and concluded December 10, 2017. Our initial goal was to replace the collapsing sills and roof of the Residence’s two porches, towards which Citizens for Squirrel Point (CSP) had received a $7,500 grant from the Maine Community Foundation in April. However, buoyed by fresh fund-raising success among CSP members, the Board voted also to replace the sills and roof-shingles of SPL’s historically rare, sloping Boathouse. The latter now rests on its new sills, having been squared up, stabilized, and re-roofed with materials identical to those used on the Residence and Barn/Workshop last year, per restoration requirements. All work on the porches is complete, including new copper roofing.
CSP expenditures in calendar 2017 were $35,046: $33,250 for the restoration work and materials; $797.50 for dump fees; $695 for the yearly insurance premium; $136 for our PO Box; and $167 for miscellany. (All figures rounded.) Including the Community Foundation’s $7,500 grant, we raised $40,052 in 2017. More than half of this represented four large private gifts, but there were also dozens of other individual contributions. Having commenced 2017 with $12,933 in the bank, CSP entered 2018 with $17,140 on hand, thanks largely to a magnificent new $10,000 matching private donation.
CSP received much in-kind support in 2017. Higmo’s Lumber gave a discount on joists and flooring; our thanks to Allen Higgins, Paula Herson and Marcia Levigne. As so often in past years, Davies Allan’s Chesterfield Associates lent a special watercraft to ferry debris across the Kennebec for disposal; special gratitude is due to Zach Stanton for spending stretches of three separate days to place and remove the dumpster as well as to navigate the vessel on the day. CSP also thanks Joshua Bates of Phippsburg for again offering his landing as a staging area for the dumpster.
As always, CSP sweat equity was key. Twenty-plus volunteers convened on two separate days to load debris and to empty the crammed Boathouse so that restoration work could begin. In September, a crew of volunteers cleared out sumac and invasive honeysuckle, reclaiming the view to the north up the Kennebec. Two huge resulting heaps of slash were burned on November 18, after due consultation with the Coast Guard and Arrowsic’s Fire Department, which oversaw the fire in situ. This was the second time in two years that the Fire Department has carried equipment to Squirrel Point to conduct a controlled burn on CSP’s behalf. We thank Chief Dale Carlton and son Chris, Stephen Theodore, Jeremy Blaiklock, Bill Savedoff, Robert Ferris, and Joe Bonnet.
For 2018, the CSP Board judges our priority should be to finish the Boathouse restoration: new flooring, siding, windows, doors, painting; and, if funds permit, replacement of the original wooden rail-ramp. The estimate for this work is $34-36,000, of which half would be for the ramp. Next, tentatively, will be the closing stage of work on the Residence and the Barn/Workshop (siding, windows, doors, painting), likely to cost a comparable amount. Restoration of the Light Tower will be complex and costly, for which reason the Board expects to defer it to the culmination of our SP project in a future year.
Overall, CSP has spent some $70,000 since commencing SP’s external restoration in May 2016. Our rough estimate for the work that remains (leaving the Light Tower aside), is $75,000, of which we have @$17,000 in the bank. We will need to campaign and publicize our cause in new ways and spheres, and to seek out new funding sources and grants. Encouragingly, we continue to receive a stream of individual contributions from first-time-givers and/or non-CSP members.
CSP’s scheduled 2017 Annual Meeting was thwarted by last October’s windstorm and power outages. That meeting is now re-set for Thursday, March 22, 2018, 6 p.m., at Arrowsic Town Hall. The Board would love to see a broad gathering – both to review details of progress and prospects to date, and to solicit views and suggestions about our community’s ultimate vision for SPL.
Kudos to all Squirrel Point Light supporters for the zeal and generosity which have brought our project this far.
On behalf of the Board,
Roman Wasilewski, Chair