The owners of F.W. Thurston and Thurston’s Lobster Pound have plans to build a small marina at their location on Bass Harbor. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MARK GOOD

Marina plan edges forward

TREMONT — A plan by the F.W. Thurston Company to construct a marina on Bass Harbor next to the town-owned Bernard wharf is to move forward under an agreement with the town.

The plan to add floats to the north end of the Thurston’s dock had been on hold while a surveyor hired by the town completed his work in determining the boundary between the Thurston property and the wharf property. According to a survey done for Thurston’s, a portion of the town floats are within the littoral boundary between the properties and the owners have proposed having the town move their floats in order to maintain the proper distance between the two structures.

In August, Thurston owners Michael Radcliffe and Derek Lapointe came before the Harbor Committee asking for conditional approval from the committee, a first step in the lengthy permitting process that must be completed before construction begins. The request was tabled at that meeting and again at a Sept. 28 meeting.

At the committee’s Oct. 26 meeting, Town Manager Dana Reed announced that the town’s surveyor, Mike Avery, still had not completed his work. But, Reed continued, he, Harbormaster Justin Seavey and the town’s attorney had met that day with Radcliffe, Lapointe, their engineer Noel Musson and their attorney to discuss the best “way to go forward and look at ways to compromise.” The first step for Thurston’s is to go back to the Harbor Committee for an opinion on the latest version of their plan.

“They need to work out their float arrangement with the Harbor Committee informally then go before the Planning Board,” Reed told committee members.

The input from the committee is important, Reed said. “You need to speak up at that time if you have a problem with it.”

The Harbor Committee would take no formal action at that time. That step would occur only after Thurston’s submits a formal application to the Planning Board.

Musson said Thurston’s recognizes that access to the wharf is “a challenge” for fishermen and other boaters. That’s why the committee is the first step.

“You’re the ones with a lot of knowledge and expertise on the harbor,” Musson said.

Musson and Radcliffe, without giving details, both said they believed the town could benefit from their latest plan.

“It’s a win-win situation we’re heading towards,” Musson said.

Reed agreed that the town could potentially end up with a better arrangement at the Bernard Wharf, but he also declined to give specifics. Thurston’s is expected to present a sketch plan of their project for review at the Harbor Committee’s Nov. 30 meeting.

The Thurston plan has not been popular with many of the fishermen who use the Bernard Wharf. If the marina is built as proposed, and regardless of whether town floats stay where they are or moved, it would limit boat access to the wharf, they claim.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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