TREMONT – Eight months after plans for a new marina at Thurston’s were first brought before the Harbor Committee, the project still has not received the go-ahead. The committee decided Aug. 31 to table a request for conditional approval of the proposed marina after the town manager recommended that the request not get approval.
“I want to go on the record as being strongly opposed to taking action on this before we get the surveyor’s report,” Town Manager Dana Reed told the committee.
F.W. Thurston owners Michael Radcliffe and Derek Lapointe are proposing to add floats onto the north end of their property in Bass Harbor for a marina. The property line is the southern boundary of the town-owned Bernard Wharf.
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 the floats. The town, in response, hired its own surveyor to get his opinion on the line. Impatient with how long it’s taking for the town survey to be done, Radcliffe and Lapointe are asking for conditional approval of their plan, contingent with the town’s survey agreeing with theirs.
In stating his opposition to the request, Reed stressed the importance of keeping the current float system at the wharf if possible.
“That side of the dock is vitally important to the town’s fishery,” he said.
Committee member Rich Helmke agreed.
“I feel we ought to have a survey,” Helmke said. He also expressed his frustration at the length of time it was taking surveyor Mike Avery to complete his work.
Reed replied that Avery had a long list of clients ahead of the town.
Radcliffe had his own thoughts.
“We’ve been waiting for this forever,” he said.
Reed told Radcliffe that their surveyor shares part of the blame. Harbormaster Justin Seavey spoke with Lapointe on May 19, asking him to have their surveyor send a copy of their survey to Avery. That never happened, Reed said.
Chairman Mel Atherton told Radcliffe and Lapointe that he appreciates their frustration.
“But if we’re going to make a decision, we need to have a survey,” Atherton said.
Reed had the final word before the committee made their decision to table the request until their Sept. 28 meeting.
“I’ve seen too many conditional approvals where something happens that throws a monkey wrench into it,” he said.