Wharf House needs work

TREMONT — Selectmen agreed Monday that the town-owned Wharf House at the Bernard Town Wharf is in need of sprucing up.

The house is one of two town-owned structures at the wharf. The other is the Wharf garage. The town rents out both. The house is a year-round residence; the garage is leased by a business.

Selectman Kevin Buck requested that discussion of the Wharf House be placed on the agenda for the meeting.

“I’m very uncomfortable with what’s going on down there,” Buck said. “The building is looking rundown.”

Buck noted the exterior of the house needs painting, repairs are needed, and that the lawn is unkempt.

“It really doesn’t represent us very good,” said Selectman Stewart Murphy.

The town rents the Wharf House for $750 a month. The current tenant has no lease, a situation Town Manager Dana Reed told selectmen he was working to change.

Buck suggested that the lease could require the tenant to keep up with lawn care and basic maintenance. The lease also could include a clause allowing the town to inspect the interior of the building on a regular basis, he said.

Reed, who is in the process of drafting a lease, is to add some of Buck’s suggestions and come back to selectmen for their approval.

Selectmen made no decisions about how to proceed in tackling any major projects at the Wharf House.

During the discussion, Buck also questioned whether there were other options for the Wharf House.

“I’m not sure the town is getting the best use of that property,” he said.

A better use, he continued, might be using the building as the harbormaster’s office and possibly some use by the public.

Chairman Kathi Thurston said she would rather see the property generate revenue.

“I personally would like to see it stay a rental,” she said.

In his manager’s report, Reed said the newly formed recall ordinance committee held its first meeting and elected officers.

Mel Atherton is chairman; Mike Hays, vice-chairman and Heywood Mays, secretary. The committee is trying to meet every two weeks in hopes of drafting a recall ordinance for selectmen in time for the ordinance to go before voters at the annual town meeting in May.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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