Island Briefs

Proposed school budget 

BAR HARBOR —  During the virtual Bar Harbor school committee meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, Conners-Emerson principal Barbara Neilly presented a first draft of the school budget for the fiscal year 2021-22. The budget was proposed on a spreadsheet for committee members to review and compare to the current year. Without any added positions or COVID staffing needs taken into account for the 2021-2022 school year, the budget is due for an increase of about 3 percent.  



Ruffled feathers 

MOUNT DESERT — Code Enforcement Officer Kim Keene has sent a notice of violation of the town’s land use zoning ordinance to Pierrepont Fisher for keeping chickens on his property on Davis Lane in Otter Creek without town approval. 

“It has been brought to my attention that the chickens roam free to other properties, causing some destruction to other properties’ landscaping and also defecating on the properties,” she wrote. 

She informed Davis that the zoning ordinance requires “conditional use approval by the Planning Board to have chickens” in the Village Residential One (VR1) zoning district. 


Mission, MD365 offices move 

MOUNT DESERT — The Maine Seacoast Mission and Mount Desert 365 have moved their offices into the new building on Old Firehouse Lane in Northeast Harbor, which overlooks the harbor. 

For the Mission, the computers and furniture have been moved from the former headquarters on West Street in Bar Harbor. But the eight staff members who worked there before the COVID-19 pandemic sent them home are still working from home and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  

The three staff members of MD365, who had been occupying office space on Maine Street in Northeast Harbor, are now working in the new building. 

One of the two residential apartments on the second floor of the building has been rentedMD365 is still accepting applications for the second unit.  


School meetings back to virtual 

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND Due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases on the island, all school related meetings will no longer be held in buildings. The local school staff wants to ensure the health and safety of the community during the pandemic by going remote. As of Nov. 16, all meetings in the local district are scheduled to be hosted virtually. The events will now be broadcasted live for the public to view on the school’s YouTube or Facebook websites.  


Town meetings move online 

SOUTHWEST HARBOR  In their meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, members of the Board of Selectmen suggested that all town board and committee meetings be conducted online through the end of the year.  

“Chances of spreading COVID are greater during the holidays,” said board member Carolyn Ball.  

Town Manager Justin VanDongen said it wasn’t just because of the virus; meetings conducted by some boards that are part in-person and part online “just aren’t working.” 

Although most members said they preferred to meet in person, they agreed to go online through the holiday season and revisit the subject at the beginning of the new year.  

“I think it’s sad that the kids are still in school and we’re allowing them to meet but the five of us can’t meet in person,” said selectman Chad Terry. 


Appeal postponed 

TREMONT  A hearing regarding an appeal from Pointy Head Campground, scheduled to go before the town’s Board of Appeals, was tabled until Dec. 17. 

At their meeting last week, members of the board voted to have Joanne Harris continue as the chairman of the board and Melvin Atherton was chosen as vice chairman.   

Pointy Head Campground is appealing a decision made by the Planning Board to deny an application for a 15-site campground in Bass Harbor. Representative Jeff Crafts was unable to attend the meeting last week “for good reason,” according to Harris.  

Town attorney James Collier told the board that a representative of the appeal does not have to be present for the board to hear it. “I think it would be unwise for due process,” he added.  

The board unanimously voted in favor of tabling the hearing to 5 p.m. on Dec. 17, which does not require further public notice. 



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