ROCKLAND — The Knox County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, June 14, to support a plan to settle the boundary between Knox and neighboring Waldo County.

The Waldo County Commissioners will need to vote on the proposal which ultimately will have to go before the Maine Legislature where a bill would have to formalize the agreement into law. An email message was left with Waldo County Wednesday, June 15, on whether the commissioners there voted on the measure. The Commissioners are scheduled to meet Thursday, June 16.

The issue first arose two years ago when the Census bureau began its preliminary work.

Sen. Chip Curry, D-Belfast, sponsored a bill to settle the matter but the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee asked Knox and Waldo counties to try to work out the dispute before a bill would be considered

Curry stated earlier this year a U.S. Census team concluded after reviewing tax, deed and legislative documents, the county boundary between Waldo and Knox counties was not accurate in Penobscot Bay by Lassell Island. Lassell Island appears in Knox County on maps, but is in Waldo County in tax and deed records.

“A review of legislative documents showed that the entire Islesboro archipelago is in Waldo County, and there was no legislation transferring any of the islands into Knox County. The Waldo County Commissioners theorize, that around 70 years ago, there was a cartographic error that has been continuously carried over for decades. In essence, this legislation aims to resolve the inconsistencies with tax and deed records as well as our legislative processes,” Curry stated in his written testimony to the Committee in January.

Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart said under the proposed agreement,  Lassell would be in Waldo County. Other small islands in the archipelago would also go to Waldo County including Mark Island, Mouse Island, Goose Island, and Saddle Island.

Lassell Island consists of 105 acres of which five people or limited liability corporations own all the land.

Waldo County also wanted Robinson Rock included in Waldo County but Knox County maintained that was more in line with Knox County.

Waldo County has been collecting the property tax dollars from Lassell. Hart said the other islands are owned by non-profit entities including the federal government. He said about $1,000 in annual taxes are generated from Lasell Island.

Lassell Island