Tight timeline

To the Editor:

If the Bar Harbor Town Council wants to buy the ferry terminal property from the Maine Department of Transportation, it must begin to get serious about deadlines. Under section 5 of the town’s option agreement with the MDOT, failure to meet any funding conditions “shall result in the immediate termination” of the town’s rights to purchase the property. The next funding condition requires that the town “shall have issued the appropriate warrant article for inclusion at the June 2018 annual town meeting no later than January 30, 2018.”

The agenda for the Dec. 19 council meeting contains no such warrant article for public financing. Thus, there are only two council meetings before the deadline, on Jan. 2 and 16, in which the council can approve the necessary warrant article language.

What is the reason for the delay? This should have been done in December, at either council meeting, not at the last minute in January.

The ferry terminal property advisory committee worked incredibly hard to study the issues. The committee arrived at a community-based consensus opinion that recommended a multipurpose marina, with a public access launching ramp and floats for small commercial and personal watercraft.

It also recommended optional tendering of cruise ship passengers and a ferry service only if it didn’t diminish the multipurpose marina. This committee did an enormous amount of work under a very short timeline. It met its deadlines, tired but timely.

I’m worried that our Town Council will not meet its Jan. 30 deadline and our town will lose its chance to buy the ferry terminal property. If this deadline is missed, the MDOT would have the legal right to sell the property to a developer who might build something completely contrary to what our community has said they’d like to see happen for the ferry terminal property.

Donna Karlson

Bar Harbor

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