Bottom line

To the Editor:

Town Manager Cornell Knight shed light on current negotiations for the town of Bar Harbor’s option to purchase the ferry terminal property from the state of Maine. Near the end of the marathon March 7 Town Council meeting, Cornell said, “If the town comes up with 2 and a half million, then they can do what they want with it.” The state “would have no control over it.”

This purchase would give the town access to an important deepwater port. Various groups and individuals in town have opinions and ideas about how we might develop this property.

Here is one idea. Start by looking at the bottom line. Where are we going to get $2.5 million? I found a simple answer. We could raise the port development fee 65 cents per passenger, from $2 to $2.65. Do you think a passenger would not take a cruise because it costs 65 cents more?

If you up the fees another 65 cents, you could borrow $2.5 million more for renovations that would create some immediate marine uses. A simple kayak launch for the public could be created and a dock is very possible too.

We could put some of the money into repaving the coveted 300-car parking lot. Now, we have the equivalent of a $5 million parking garage and an invaluable public marina for $1.30 per passenger. That is less than a cup of coffee.

What course of future development would you chart?

A Bar Harbor civility forum about the ferry terminal is set for the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, March 30, from 6-9 p.m.. Hope to see you there.

Jim O’Connell

Bar Harbor

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