BAR HARBOR — While a bill dealing with the boundaries of Acadia National Park has the attention of a U.S. Senate committee this week, the town of Bar Harbor and the Acadia Disposal District are asking for an amendment to transfer a parcel of land adjacent to Bar Harbor’s solid waste transfer station to the town.
The pending “Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act,” introduced by Sen. Angus King, is intended to validate Acadia’s annexation of 1,441 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula, including the new Schoodic Woods Campground. But officials hope it also can address other local issues requiring acts of Congress, including the status of the Acadia Advisory Commission and a parcel of land in Tremont.
The Town Council unanimously agreed to send a letter to Sens. King and Susan Collins asking for an amendment to transfer a 0.29 acre parcel of land next to the transfer station from the park to the town. Adding that parcel to the town land would provide more room for a planned rebuild of the transfer station.
Councilor Clark Stivers said he worried the request could muddy the water for the committee and delay the bill’s progress.
“It is down to the wire,” Town Manager Cornell Knight said. The Senate is scheduled to be in session through July 15 then recess for the summer. “But I think if [this request] is too late, they’ll say it’s too late,” he said.
Council Chair Paul Paradis said he thought the request was timely. “If there’s a chance to comment, it’s before it goes to markup,” he said.
The letter also expresses support for a related request from the Acadia Disposal District (ADD) dealing with another parcel of land in Town Hill and use of funds to support solid waste disposal. Bar Harbor is not one of the five ADD member towns, but several years ago, the town signed a memorandum of understanding with them in support of these goals, Knight said.
“In the hearings that preceded the enactment of the 1986 Acadia National Park Boundary Act,” ADD Chair Tony Smith wrote to Collins and King last week, “testimony … was submitted showing that Acadia contributed to Mount Desert Island’s solid waste stream. Congress concluded that it would be fair to require the park to contribute to improve the management of MDI’s solid waste stream.”
That 1986 law required that ANP convey Lot 4DBH in Town Hill to the town of Bar Harbor “for the express purpose of being converted into a solid waste transfer station” and contribute funds up to $350,000 toward the cost of constructing such a station.
The property is not suitable for that use, Smith wrote, and the transfer station will never be built. Instead, he proposed the $350,000 be contributed “to a regional consortium established by law for the purpose of improving the management of the disposal and recycling of solid waste.”