Monday, 14 May 2018 22:56

Barbor Harbor residents hear business plan details for ferry terminal Featured

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BAR HARBOR - After the presentation, local residents had a chance to voice their opinions at the meeting held at nearby Mount Desert Island High School.

 

At Monday's special town meeting, an outside consultant presented potential costs and revenues if the town decided to buy the abandoned CAT ferry terminal.

 

Bar Harbor has the chance to buy the ferry terminal from the Maine Department of Transportation and turn it into a marina.

 

A consultant from Bermello Ajamil & Partners presented different outcomes of what the $3.5 million dollar bond purchase would mean for the town.

 

The possible costs and revenue were generated based on different factors, like whether the new marina would have cruise tendering or an international ferry.

 

Of the more than twenty scenarios, only ten presented a profit for the town after 20 years of bond paybacks. Full details on those business plans can be found on Bar Harbor's website.

 

Some residents said they are for the town taking over the ferry terminal, so that it doesn't end up in private ownership.

 

"When you get opportunities like this it doesn't happen too often," said Bar Harbor resident Joe Minutolo. "We have a very small amount of working waterfront and this would give the town a big opportunity to have a considerable amount."

 

Others hoped to see the marina ease cruise ship passenger traffic in a congested downtown area.

 

"It's an amazing asset that's on the waterfront in an era where access to marine resources like that are rare," said Bar Harbor resident Stephanie Clement.

 

But others said the numbers don't add up and were worried about the town losing money, especially considering all the consultant's scenarios with a financial loss.

 

"I think it's a travesty for the town to own that piece of property," said one Bar Harbor resident Robert Collier. He said he'd prefer the abandoned ferry terminal to be privately owned, so it can generate tax revenue for the town.

 

"I'd rather see it in taxation, with $16 million worth of property being taxed," said Collier.

 

Cornell Knight, Bar Harbor's town manager, said he's sticking with his original concern over the additional price tag for demolishing the old terminal.

 

"But unfortunately since the property has been dormant for so long, all the pier structure there needs to be town down," said the town manager. "And that's a $2.5 million dollar cost right there."

 

Nothing was decided at Monday's meeting. The $3.5 million bond issue to buy the terminal will go before Bar Harbor voters at their town meeting on June 12.

Kelly Mitchell

Reporter
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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...