Chamber choices

To the Editor:

The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce board of directors encourages all residents to vote on June 12 at the ballot box. There are two very significant bonds before the residents of Bar Harbor that provide opportunities to move forward as a town on issues that we have been discussing as a community for far too long. We commend the town and the residents of Bar Harbor for the many years of effort and research that they have put into these matters. The chamber’s executive director, staff and directors have been actively engaged with the town and its residents regarding article 6, the ferry terminal land purchase, and article 7, the parking meter system.

We believe with article 6, our town has an opportunity before us to purchase the property at 121 Eden St. so that the town and its residents can continue exploring different development opportunities. There is enormous potential for this property to be an asset to the community, but there will be only one opportunity to own it.

We can all participate as a community in the future decisions and steps, but buying the property is the first step to take. The full potential of this property has yet to be explored, and we look forward to that process with thoughtful planning by our town leadership and open communication with the residents after ownership is gained. We, as a board, look forward to a plan that will be financially wise, a benefit to the community and an excellent investment for the town of Bar Harbor.

We support the passage of article 6, the ferry terminal land purchase.

We believe the town’s parking solutions task force recommendation for the installation of seasonal smart parking meters and smart kiosks is a comprehensive starting point for managing parking while also creating revenue in downtown Bar Harbor. The smart meters and smart kiosks allow for flexibility so that time and monetary adjustments can be made as the program develops. We would like to see the program monitored by the task force with public input, so that the plan can continually be improved to best meet the needs of all users.

The seasonal parking meters and kiosks are expected to generate enough revenue each year to pay for ongoing improvements to infrastructure, such as lighting, sidewalks, streetscape improvements, as well as an investment in more public transportation and satellite parking. The recommendation from the parking solutions task force is that the revenue be used to offset costs that otherwise would be paid through taxes.

We support the passage of article 7, the parking meter system.

Voting in favor of article 6 and article 7 are the chamber board of directors’ choices on these two local issues, but as always, your opinion is critical to deciding what’s best for Bar Harbor. Please cast your votes on June 12 so your voice will be heard.

The board of directors of the

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

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