ROCKLAND — The City Council will once again consider the sale of a quarry to a man who wants to create a recreational facility for the community.

Mayor Ed Glaser said at the Council’s Sept. 7 meeting he has spoken to Fred Dodd who is still interested in acquiring Engine Quarry off Old County Road. Dodd has attempted to purchase the property but the Council has opted not to sell to anyone.

Dodd operates a business known as International Zoological Expeditions Inc. and has said he would stop illegal dumping, clean out the quarry and make it available for those who wish to study a different and unique self-contained ecosystem. Dodd has a long history of restoring quarries. He said he would restore the Engine Quarry and open it to the public for kayaking, hiking and other recreational purposes.

The city has solicited proposals for the land on multiple occasions since 2014, but has never followed through on a sale.

Dodd offered the city $20,000 for the property.

The City Council last considered selling the historic Engine Quarry in May 2018. The council voted 4-1 at that meeting to reject issuing a quitclaim deed to Jake Barbour for the 14-acre parcel that includes the water-filled former limestone quarry adjacent to Old County Road.

The city has owned the property since 1982, when Maine Drilling & Blasting Inc. failed to pay its property taxes. Maine Drilling acquired the land in 1981 from the Rockland-Rockport Lime Co. The Lime Company owned it since 1905.

A 2018 letter from the city’s attorney, Mary Costigan, said the title to the land was not clear. She advised the city when the it foreclosed on the property in 1982, it included the description of a different property owned by the lime company on Front Street.

Barbour told councilors in 2018 he believes he already had property rights to the quarry, which his mother acquired in 1996. Costigan’s opinion to the city questioned Barbour’s ownership claim to the land.

Glaser said at the Council’s Sept. 7 meeting the Council would be issuing a quitclaim deed which simply quits the city’s interest in the land. He said Dodd has told him he is confident that Barbour would not be successful in claims on the land.

The mayor said Dodd has already purchased private properties around the quarry.

The city attorney told councilors at the Sept. 7 meeting that a previous offer from Dodd is still valid and the city does not have to go out to bid again.

The Council may take a preliminary vote on issuing the quitclaim deed to Dodd at its Monday, Sept. 12 meeting.