Wharf license considered

TREMONT — Selectmen here voted Tuesday to get input from the town’s Planning Board before deciding whether to approve adoption of a wharf license application and fee for building or extending a wharf within the tidal waters of the town.

Town Manager Dana Reed brought the issue before selectmen, saying state law requires that selectmen issue a license to the property owner extending or constructing a wharf. The town, at least in recent history, has not done this, he added.

The license process protects both the public’s rights to navigation and the property owner from any legal challenges to construction and placement of a wharf, Reed explained. Reed said the town’s Harbor Committee, at an Oct. 27 meeting, agreed to make a recommendation that selectmen adopt the application and fee.

Reed suggested $366.81 as the fee for the wharf license, an amount he said was based on his experience with the application process as town manager in Bar Harbor.

Selectmen were not opposed to requiring the license. They did question whether they would be overstepping the authority of the Planning Board by issuing licenses.

Reed, in response, said he understood the Planning Board has authority only on the section of a wharf on land, and the board and other town entities have no control over construction in the intertidal zone.

Selectman Kevin Buck moved to table making a decision until selectmen could discuss the matter with the Planning Board. His motion carried 4-0.

Law enforcement

In his manager’s report, Reed updated selectmen on law enforcement coverage for the upcoming year. The town’s annual contract with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office ends Dec. 31, and selectmen have asked Reed to get details on that department’s proposal for the upcoming year as well as to ask neighboring Southwest Harbor for a proposal.

Reed said he spoke with Chief Deputy Pat Kane, who said he couldn’t provide an hourly cost of providing the 30-hours-per-week exclusive coverage until union negotiations have been completed. Kane said he doesn’t expect any major increase from the current contract rate of $59 per hour, Reed told selectmen.

Reed said he also spoke with the town manager and police chief in Southwest Harbor and was told they would be submitting a proposal. The proposal would include animal control services, for which Tremont now pays about $5,600 a year.


Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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