Land transfer for bridge repairs proves complicated

TREMONT — The State of Maine is set to temporarily take possession, by eminent domain, of a plot of property next to the town’s community building.

Use of the land near the narrow bridge over Marshal Brook Creek by the Tremont Consolidated School is complicated.

Maneuvering the clauses and agreements of the land is a big reason a planned construction project on the bridge has taken a while to move forward. The parcel was once owned by the United States of America (National Park Service). It was conveyed to the town through a deed dated 1950.

Bidding for the project, a widening of the bridge, is expected to begin in October. It may be January before visible work on the bridge gets going, according to Town Manager Chris Saunders.

When the small plot of property located between the Tremont Community Center and the outlet near the bridge was conveyed from the park in 1950, the deed included a clause for use. It states the property is to be used exclusively for school purposes. If not, the ownership can revert back to the federal government.

“We’re reading that as a compatible use consistent for school use,” John Kelly, who is management assistant in Acadia National Park, told the Islander Tuesday. “These things always get more complicated than they seem… If they ask for permission, we would grant it.”

To avoid confusion, the state plans to mark the property as condemned and take it by eminent domain in order to complete the construction project, according to Tremont officials. Route 102 is a state highway.

Once the bridge has been widened and construction is complete, the property will once again be in the hands of the town of Tremont.

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

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

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