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April 11, 2018

Sale of Rockland’s massive quarry stalls

The Rockland City Council this week postponed action on an ordinance to sell the city's interest in the 14-acre water-filled former limestone quarry known as the "Engine Quarry" to Jake Barbour of Jake Barbour Inc.

Village Soup reported that since 2014 the city has on multiple occasions solicited proposals for the land — which it acquired in 1982 when Maine Drilling & Blasting Inc. failed to pay its property taxes — but has never followed through on a sale. Barbour has said he has a legal claim to Engine Quarry because his mother acquired mineral rights to the quarry many years ago. He's offered two parcels to the city in exchange.

Other people interested in the property include Frederick Dodd of Sherborn, Mass., who

operates the business International Zoological Expeditions Inc., and has said he would clean out the quarry and make it available for those who wish to study its ecosystem.

In 2017, Village Soup reported that Barbour's mother, Susan Barbour, said she purchased mineral interests in the Engine Quarry property that date back to the former Rockland-Rockport Lime Co. She questioned the city's right to sell the property.

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