BAR HARBOR — Steve Pagels, owner of Downeast Windjammer Cruises, has submitted a lease proposal to operate a ferry between Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia from the former ferry terminal on Eden Street.
Pagels, who also operates the schooner Margaret Todd in Bar Harbor along with several other local ferries, sent his proposal by certified mail to the Town Council on July 24.
The new proposal comes while the town is in negotiations with Bay Ferries Ltd., the Canadian ferry service that operated the Bar Harbor-Nova Scotia Ferry between 1997 and 2010. Bay Ferries proposes to reinstate the international ferry service starting in June 2019.
Bay Ferries presented its proposal at a recent town council meeting, which Pagels attended. During the public comments period Pagels told the town council, “We didn’t realize you were accepting proposals. You have a very viable opportunity that’s been put before you. I’d like the opportunity to do the same.”
Pagel proposes to use a “displacement” or conventional ferry “that goes through the water, rather than a high speed vessel that goes on the surface of the water.” He plans to apply for grants and use private funding to improve the ferry terminal, and proposes to pay the town $2.75 million over the course of a 10-year lease.