Southwest Harbor's new harbor management plan recommends renovations to the Manset dock and the adjacent lot known as the Hook property. The town released a request for qualifications this week for the project. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Contractor sought for harbor development plan

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The town is looking for the right contractor to help develop the Manset dock and the adjacent lot known as the Hook property.

A request for qualifications (RFQ) went out to the public on Wednesday to help the town identify a vendor to provide design and engineering services for planned renovations to the property.

Goals for the project include establishing a location for the harbormaster’s office that oversees the property and the harbor, efficient flow of traffic through the property that allows all users of the property to coexist, maximization of parking on the property, establishing a small park for public enjoyment of the harbor and beach area, increasing recreational boating opportunities and facilities, expanding useable land area to the highest annual tide line and maintaining the current staging area used by recreational and commercial boaters prior to launching and after hauling.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on Oct. 21 and the implementation date for the contract is set for Nov. 26.

“Basically, we have a small pot of money to try to get as much as we can done,” said Town Manager Justin VanDongen at the Tuesday night selectman meeting. “I think we should be focusing on finding a firm that understands working marine waterfronts.”

“They understand we have $30,000 to spend?” Selectman Kristin Hutchins asked VanDongen at the meeting.

“We’re not getting all of that for $30,000,” he replied. “I don’t think we’ll have a lot of applicants, to be honest.”

The town expects to retain the selected vendor for six months to a year. Several items will be included in packets to potential vendors including the Harbor Committee’s site plan development for Hook Property and Manset Town Dock — short and long-term goals and phases that was released in May 2018.

“This relationship will continue as long as we have funding,” said VanDongen. “I don’t want to influence the process. I’d like to see a lot of public input before we have a plan.”

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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