St. George purchases Port Clyde waterfront property

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 09, 2015
St. George Town Office

St. George — St. George has finalized the purchase of a parcel of waterfront land in Port Clyde valued at more than $1 million.

At the polls in May, residents voted 245 to 104 to purchase the 0.65-acre property on Cold Storage Road for town and commercial use.

Selectmen voted unanimously nearly a year ago to begin negotiating the purchase of the parcel from the Ulbrich family. The property abuts the town landing and was rented by Mosquito Island Lobster Co. It includes two piers.

The town acquired the property for $810,000, said Town Manager John Falla in November.

According to a press release from Falla, the town is looking at short-term and long-term uses for the property. The ad hoc committee that was formed to investigate whether or not the town should purchase the property is continuing with a modification to its duties. It will be looking at a use and development plan for the long-term use of the property. They will be expected to work on this plan with a report to the Select Board in January 2016, he said.

The town is accepting proposals from interested parties for the short- term use of the property – that time frame being from July 1 to the summer of 2016. The town has received a handful of inquiries already, and is asking that those who are interested submit a proposal to the town manager by June 26. The town requests that any proposal meet the town’s rules, regulations and ordinances, and if needed, be prepared to submit a certificate of insurance, said the release.

Following the June 26 deadline, the proposals will be reviewed, and those proposals that are the right fit for the town, for the property, and for this time frame will receive serious consideration.

Selectman Richard Bates said last year the board is interested in what is best for the town, adding that business is important to the area and the board does not want to jeopardize that, in response to business owners who said they feared the purchase would leave them without a place to continue buying lobsters.

Coastal Waters Management Board Member Michael Cushman informed the Select Board in September of pros and cons to purchasing the property. The board, consisting of five members, previously voted to recommend the town consider purchasing the land.

Cushman said the property provides deep-water access and is conveniently positioned, as it is adjacent to the public wharf. Additional parking, a second boat launch, and rental opportunities could exist if the town decided to buy the land, Cushman said. St. George could also consider operating a pump station at the site, which would attract tourists who are sailing up the coast.

The con, Cushman said, is the extensive work the pier needs.

Prock Marine estimated in September 2014 that repairs to the concrete pier could be $350,000. Repairs needed include new steel and pilings, as was reported at the meeting.

Courier Publication's reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@coueirpublicationsllc.com.

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