BAR HARBOR — Voters approved bond issues for the purchase of the currently abandoned ferry terminal property and a downtown parking meter and kiosk system at Tuesday’s election.
Joe Minutolo was elected to his first term as a town councilor with 1,103 votes. Gary Friedmann was re-elected with 959 votes. Incumbent Peter St. Germain received 670 votes and was unseated.
Town Clerk Sharon Linscott said 1,713 of the town’s 4,455 registered voters, about 38 percent, cast ballots.
Minutolo owns Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop on Cottage Street and was very involved in the citizen advisory committee for the ferry terminal property convened last fall.
“I felt some real positive things from people in town; people have come to visit me at the store,” Minutolo said Tuesday night. “Hopefully I can represent them the way they want to be represented.
“It’s going to be interesting working with the town, and I hope we get a lot of citizen participation,” he continued.
Minutolo also was elected to the Warrant Committee last week, so that committee will have an immediate opening.
St. Germain, who served nine years on the council, told the Islander on Wednesday morning that he will remain involved in town politics, but he has not decided if he will run for office again.
“There’s a lot on the council’s plate, and I wish them all the best,” he said. “I had great people to work with on all three councils, [and] it was very rewarding.”
Voters approved a $3.5 million bond to purchase the abandoned ferry terminal property at 121 Eden St. from the Maine Department of Transportation. That question carried by a 1,380-213 vote.
Business plan options for the property from longtime consultants Bermello and Ajamil presented last month anticipate the town could break even or raise some money from the facility over 20 years under some conditions. A marina facility capable of serving an international ferry and accepting the landing of tender boats from anchored cruise ships showed the best financial results of the options studied.
No final decisions have been made on the development of the property. Town Manager Cornell Knight said in May the town could wait as long as it wants to develop the property, but the debt service will need to be paid, and no revenue will be generated until development proceeds.
Residents voted 859-719 in favor of a $600,000 bond issue for a parking kiosk and meter system to be used in downtown Bar Harbor beginning in 2019.
A similar proposal failed last year by four votes, but this proposal was reconfigured slightly this year. Key differences in this new proposal are more employee parking areas, investing in campaigns to encourage biking and walking, and a recommendation to use schools or the ferry terminal for satellite parking.
According to the proposal, residents would be given permits that allow them to park on side streets at no charge but could be given a 50 percent discount on meter payments if they wanted to park closer to town. Employees and students also could receive permits.
Income from parking meters, kiosks and permits, an estimated $500,000 per year, is expected to cover the bond debt in two years.
Four land use ordinance changes also passed on Tuesday.
Article 2, an omission of timber harvesting language in the LUO, passed with an 857-667 vote. Earlier this year, Angie Chamberlain, interim planning director at the time, said state officials no longer would enforce local timber harvesting rules that differed from state standards.
The town’s Warrant Committee had voted 15-2 in favor of rejecting the timber harvesting changes.
Article 3, changes to shoreland zoning, also was proposed at the request of state officials. The state requires specific dimensional standards and uses in shoreland zones, and this change alters the town’s to be in line with state standards. It passed with a 1,454-135 vote.
Article 4, approved by a vote of 1,388-144, sees the removal of appendix C and includes its information in the text of the LUO. The Planning Department believed the appendix, which was a table that showed permitted uses for 30 of the town’s 40 districts, to be confusing. This change puts all uses in the text of article 3 with dimensional standards and district maps.
A change requested by Acadia Veterinary Hospital on Federal Street was approved. Article 5 moves the veterinary hospital’s 21 Federal St. property from the Downtown Residential district to the Downtown Village II district and adds “veterinary clinic” to the permitted uses of the latter district. That question carried by a 1,462-114 vote.
Marie Yarborough was re-elected to the School Committee after running unopposed and receiving 1,332 votes. Rob Jordan was re-elected to the Mount Desert Island High School Board of Trustees with 687 votes to Frederick Cook’s 532.