Southwest Harbor voters will decide whether to purchase this Shore Road property to expand parking. FILE PHOTO

Manset property offer accepted

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The owners of a Shore Road property have accepted the town’s offer, and now it’s up to voters to decide whether to purchase the lot across from the Manset Town Dock.

The owners agreed to sell the Knote property for $600,000, according to Town Manager Don Lagrange.

Town officials had been eyeing the property to expand parking near the busy dock, which is used by fishermen and recreational boaters. Selectmen last month authorized Lagrange to make an offer on the property, which was listed for sale at $770,000.

The next step, Lagrange said, is to schedule public hearings in advance of the November elections, when voters will have the final say-so on whether to purchase the property.

Lagrange, at a June selectmen’s meeting, proposed a plan that he said would generate more than enough revenue to pay for buying the Knote property and construction of the parking lot. That plan includes paid parking and increasing the number of moorings in the harbor.

The lot would have 60 regular parking spaces plus nine annually rented spaces. Another 14 spaces would be reserved for vehicles with trailers. No attendants would be needed; users would pay with a credit card at a computerized gate. Lagrange projects these parking spaces would generate $83,400 annually. In addition, there is the potential for revenue from 70 to 80 new moorings in the harbor, a step that couldn’t be taken without making more parking available to boaters, he has said.

Lagrange estimates construction of the parking lot would cost no more than $350,000.

Lagrange said he has identified four potential sources of grants which could be used for harbor-related activities such as the parking lot. Southwest Harbor will apply for these grants, and if successful, the funds would reduce the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the town.

The harbor committee and planning board both have given their approval to the parking lot plan. In addition, the town’s comprehensive plan recommends increasing public access to the harbor.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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