Public hearing to address waterfront property in Port Clyde

By Dan Otis Smith | Apr 11, 2017
Photo by: Dan Otis Smith The town will ask residents to approve expenditures for this property at 10 Cold Storage Road in Port Clyde.

St. George — The Harbor Committee will hold a public hearing April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Town Office to discuss proposed expenditures related to the town-owned waterfront property at 10 Cold Storage Road.

Article 4 of the 2017 Town Meeting warrant asks voters whether the town should raise and appropriate $4,000 for planning and $24,600 for permitting and design to begin turning the property into a combined recreational-commercial space including a public park.

St. George voters head to the polls May 8 before the town meeting the night of May 9.

The property sits next to the town landing and includes one concrete and one earthen pier and deep-water access in the heart of Port Clyde village’s waterfront.

Under a plan conceived with help from Noel Musson of Southwest Harbor-based planning firm The Musson Group, some of the space would be turned into parking, some would be for passive recreational use by the public and some would be open for a commercial use that remains undetermined. A concrete pier would be constructed to replace the earthen pier, which is sinking into the harbor, and to create more space where there are gaps between the piers.

Select Board Chairman Richard Bates said any such construction would not begin until next year.

Voters approved purchase of the property for $810,000 in 2015. Prior to that, it had been leased to Mosquito Island Lobster Co. for use as a lobster-buying station.

Some fishermen in town have lobbied to open the property up for use as another fishing wharf, at least while the property remains mostly unused. Bates said the Harbor Committee and town finance director are working on an agreement that would allow fishermen to use the property before construction begins.

The public hearing is not intended to address the possibility that 10 Cold Storage Road could host electrical cables running from the proposed Aqua Ventus offshore wind project, which would see two large wind turbines erected near Monhegan Island. Bates said they are separate issues, and the town is determined to move forward with a vision for the property on its own schedule whether Aqua Ventus becomes a reality or not.

Reporter Dan Otis Smith can be reached at 594-4401 x123 or by email at dsmith@villagesoup.com.

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