1. Between now and Nov 30th 2107, Town of Bar Harbor will hold “focus groups” in their efforts to formulate a business plan for the old Blue Nose Ferry Terminal.
2. Option to Purchase Agreement between Bar Harbor and Maine DOT (Maine Dept. of Transportation) was signed for the site in May 2017. That option full purchase price is $2,500,000. A transportation use is mandatory if Maine DOT is to contribute more than 1/3 of the purchase price of the project. A take back (“claw back”) clause will revert the property back to Maine DOT in 5 years if Maine DOT is not satisfied with the maritime transportation use.
“if at the time of the exercise of the option the Town of Bar Harbor has developed and formally approved a viable business plan that defines a feasible approach to the development of a financially sustainable Maritime Transportation use of the Premises (The “Business Plan”) and has a developer and/or funding committed to the implementation of the Business Plan, then Seller, in it’s sole discretion, may accept a payment of $2,000,000 for the acquisition of the Premises (the “Reduced Purchase Price”). In order for the Reduced Purchase Price to be effected, the Business Plan shall have been approved by Maine DOT, and shall establish Buyer’s means to fund the purchase of the Premises through private investment (s) or public funding mechanisms that meet the Funding Conditions outlined in section 5 below.” (read the full Option in Poison Pill Blog item #4)
3. On July 28th, 2017, an email was sent to the Town of Bar Harbor by Jon Nass, Deputy Commissioner MDOT, which states...”lastly, if the Town of Bar Harbor would like to pursue purchasing the property at the price Maine DOT acquired the property ($3.5 million) instead of at a reduced price, Maine DOT is willing to remove all reversionary and transportation use restrictions to the sale.”
4. At the August 1st 2017 Bar Harbor Town Council meeting the Town Council voted on a new process of visioning for the Ferry Terminal which will be Focus Groups instead of visioning sessions. Without having tabulated the surveys, the Council stated they thought cruise ship pier was the first choice of the majority of the respondents, and that the visioning session of 7/17/17 “didn’t go anywhere”(facilitated by international cruise ship pier consultant L.Ajamil; 200 people, and most were against pier). Google Bermello, Ajamil and Partners.
5. November 30th Option to Purchase agreement deadline (can be extended if both parties agree).
6. January, 2018, Bar Harbor Port Authority Legislation LD#1400 will be taken up again by Transportation Committee, State of Maine Legislature. The Port Authority is an entity to raise bond money and has many powers, including Eminent Domain and Sovereign Immunity. Read the bill here: https://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/bills_128th/billtexts/SP047801.asp
7. June, 2018: Bar Harbor Town vote on bonding/funding for the pier, and on Bar Harbor Port Authority, if LD#1400 passes the Legislature.
Write letters to anyone you can think of, write op-eds, tweet (we suggest #TooBigForFrenchmanBay, #NoMegaPier, #SaveAcadia among others- Royal Caribbean can be “tagged”), join groups, lobby all Maine legislators to vote against Port Authority, attend in person or watch Bar Harbor Town Council meetings on-line live or archived on town website, follow progress of lawsuit by Rugar and Blanchard against Zoning Article #12, encourage local and national environmental groups to oppose Mega Pier construction, promote passage of a Harbor Ordinance prohibiting cruise ships in your town.
Thank you for any actions, no matter how small, on behalf of the Bay, whose residents include this pair of River Otters. We cannot afford complacency. The health of the Bay and their habitat depends on our perseverance.