An architect's concept for a downtown parking garage in Bar Harbor. FILE PHOTO

Parking garage, ferry terminal meeting set



BAR HARBOR — Two hot topics in town are on the agenda for a special town council meeting Thursday, March 10 at 6 p.m.: a proposed downtown parking garage and uses for the international ferry terminal property on Route 3.

Consultants Bermello, Ajamil and Associates (B&A) have been working on both projects and are set to present updates at the meeting.

A “Frequently Asked Questions” document about the parking garage project was prepared by town officials and circulated in the packet for this meeting.

Louis Ajamil of B&A is set to present results of a community survey and implementation plan for a proposed parking garage for the “backyard parking lot” behind the West Street Hotel.

Councilors approved $10,000 in October for the latest phase of the parking garage study. Ocean Properties Limited, which owns the hotel and would finance and own part of the proposed structure, agreed to pay the other half of the $20,000 study.

A public meeting was held in November to present and gather feedback. B&A circulated online and paper surveys about parking challenges and about the proposed garage.

The idle ferry terminal facility is set to be purchased by the Maine Port Authority (MPA) soon using bond funds approved in a state-wide referendum last fall. If the lease-purchase agreement is completed in time, the facility could be used to land tenders from cruise ships as early as this season, MPA officials said last month.

B&A has conducted several studies of the ferry terminal property. The current project, approved by the Town Council last winter and paid for by the town, the MPA and the Chamber of Commerce, seeks to create a business plan for operations at the site. A first phase of site development may include parking and traffic facilities and possibly some related marine and commercial uses, Rep. Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor) said.

Bay Ferries Ltd., operators of The Cat, ended service between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, N.S., in 2009. The facility has been idle since.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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