BAR HARBOR — An appointed committee is weighing uses of the former international ferry terminal property before the Town Council decides whether to purchase the property and under what terms.
The ferry terminal advisory committee (FTAC) decided Monday to move the planned public comment meeting to Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.
The focus of the meeting was on the matrix that will aid in their final report to the Town Council.
The matrix will be broken down into six categories: financial, environmental, community-cultural, local economy, experience for cruise ship passengers and experience for land-based tourists.
Each idea for the site will be run through the matrix, giving the committee a set of data to compare with other ideas. Theoretically, the idea with the highest score will be the best.
Each category contains four or five subcategories which will be scored on a one to five scale on their “desirability” for site selection. These scores will then be weighted by importance. The weights have yet to be finalized.
Co-chair of the “pier with tendering” subcommittee Tom Crikelair pointed out that while the data collected from the matrix could charade as objective, when it is just a numerical representation of the committee’s collective opinion.
“The matrix is simple,” Crikelair said. “The reality is not.”
“Other uses” subcommittee co-chair Ruth Eveland said that she wanted subcommittees to come to a consensus when entering their ideas into the matrix, although coming to an agreement with eight members could be challenging.
“The point is to figure out what is best for the town,” Eveland said. “We’re looking to improve the experience for everyone.”
Crikelair also said that all ideas should be tested at a moderate level. He said that testing a berthing pier with a 400,000 passenger cap would “self-destruct” under the matrix, but the current 180,000 passenger cap would perform better. Other committee members said that both hypothetical scenarios could be run through the matrix.
Each subcommittee chair ran through the reports that were included in last week’s Islander. Kristi Losquadro, co-chair of the “other uses” subcommittee said that even if the committees cannot agree on a recommendation that the town should purchase the site for $3.5 million.
“Even if we can’t find a viable solution, they should still buy it,” Losquadro said.
The public comment session was pushed back to allow an additional committee meeting to address weighting of categories and other issues. The matrix will be included in a final report, along with a written recommendation and reports from each subcommittee.
The next FTAC meeting will be on Oct. 30 and will include “a first pass at completing the matrix.”