Smaller budget, cruise ship ban going to voters Cranberry Isles town meeting

CRANBERRY ISLES — Residents at town meeting here this Saturday will vote on a municipal operations budget of $1.63 million.

Last year’s budget of $2.79 million was unusually high because it included authorization to borrow up to $1.2 million to build a network for broadband internet service to Islesford, Great Cranberry and Sutton Island.

This year, voters are being asked to approve borrowing up to $100,000 more to build a fiber-to-the-home system on Sutton Island. A note accompanying the warrant article explains that the additional funding would allow Sutton residents to have the same internet speeds as those on the other islands.

The proposed $95,100 budget for education is $45,181 more than was budgeted for the current year. The budget includes the cost of operating the town’s elementary school plus tuition payments for town residents attending Mount Desert Island High School.

There currently are 11 K-8 students at Longfellow School on Great Cranberry and 10 Cranberry Isles students at the high school.

Residents at town meeting will vote on whether to prohibit cruise ships from anchoring or discharging passengers in town waters. The proposed ban reads: “Private docks, moorings, piers, floats and other water-side access points may not be used to receive passengers from cruise ships.”

The Mount Desert Board of Selectmen enacted a similar ban in November 2016.

Tremont voters in November approved a six-month moratorium on cruise ship visits.

In Southwest Harbor, where there currently is a moratorium on cruise ship visits, voters at town meeting in May will decide whether to make that ban permanent.

Saturday’s Cranberry Isles town meeting is to start at 8:30 a.m. at the Islesford Neighborhood House.



Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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