Gift of floats to island sinks

TREMONT — A request from chairman Kathi Thurston that would have given two of the town’s finger floats to residents of Gotts Island died Tuesday after the motion to do so was withdrawn.

Thurston, who owns property on the island, requested the transfer of the floats so the dock there could be extended. Because of her connection to the island, she indicated she would abstain from any vote on the issue.

The floats are among the ten a salmon farming operation gave the town when the business closed several years ago. The town uses seven of those floats at Seal Cove. Another was given to Gotts Island. The two remaining floats are not being used and are stored near the town garage.

Selectman Chris Eaton’s motion to give the floats to island residents was quickly met with opposition from Stewart Murphy.

“I’m absolutely against it,” Murphy said.

Murphy pointed out there are no year-round residents of the island and that the move would benefit only those people and not the town as a whole.

“We’re giving them to people to use for their private stuff,” Murphy said.

Murphy and selectman Dean Wass further argued that the two floats, while not in use, were valuable as a source of parts for the floats at Seal Cove. Some of the floatation from these floats has already been used to replace damaged floatation on the Seal Cove facility, they said.

“Why would we give up our last remaining pieces,” Murphy asked.

The argument swayed Eaton.

“It’s a good point, Stewart,” he said, before withdrawing his motion.

In another harbor-related matter, selectmen approved 4-0 a revised job description for the harbormaster. The board also gave approval to the placement of advertising to find a new harbormaster. Greg Dow recently resigned from the position.

Vandalism at the town’s community center prompted selectmen to approve the installation of a video surveillance system there. Recreation board chairman Amy Murphy presented two bids for the work, one for nearly $4,000, the other for $3,747. Selectmen opted for the low bid, which also included one more camera than the more expensive bid.

Selectmen then turned their attention to how to pay for the surveillance system.

“It shouldn’t have to come from the rec board budget,” Eaton said.

Selectmen voted 4-0 to pay for the system using money from the community building reserve fund.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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