AUGUSTA — Opponents of a bill in the state Legislature that would enable a Bar Harbor town vote to create a local port authority gathered Tuesday afternoon to draw attention to their concerns.
About two dozen people attended the rally, said organizer Renata Moise, a leader of a group called “Friends of Frenchman Bay.” The group was formed last year to oppose a potential cruise ship pier at the former Bar Harbor ferry terminal. The group obtained a permit to gather outside the west door of the statehouse, she said, since the Hall of Flags was not available.
The bill, LD 1400, was sponsored by Sen. Brian Langley and held over from last year’s session. A port authority is a legal entity that could be created in the future with the ability to issue bonds to finance purchase or development of the ferry terminal property.
In a work session Jan. 16, the Legislature’s Committee on Transportation voted 10-2 to recommend that the bill “ought to pass.” The committee subsequently amended the bill and reported it out “Ought to Pass as Amended” unanimously.
The Senate was expected to take it up for initial passage today, Thursday. Additional amendments have been proposed by Sen. Geoffery Gratwick of Penobscot and Rep. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville. All the amendments must be engrossed, or officially incorporated, by both the House and the Senate before either chamber may vote on enacting the measure.