June 13, 2018

Bar Harbor voters back $3.5M bond to buy former ferry terminal

Photo / Peter Van Allen
Photo / Peter Van Allen
Voters in Bar Harbor on Tuesday approved a $3.5 million bond issue to purchase the former Bay Ferries Ltd. terminal to use as a cruise ship terminal.

Voters in Bar Harbor on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a $3.5 million bond issue to fund the purchase of the former ferry terminal from the Maine Department of Transportation that could pave the way for more passenger cruise traffic, the Mount Desert Islander reported.

The measure passed by a vote of 1,380 to 213.

Business plans for the property from consultants Bermello and Ajamil presented last month anticipate the town could break even or raise some money on the facility over 20 years under certain conditions, the paper reported.

Of the different options studied, a marina facility capable of serving an international ferry and handling the anchoring of tender boats from anchored passenger cruise ships showed the best financial results, according to the paper.

Bar Harbor, Maine's busiest cruise port, is scheduled to receive 180 ship visits this year carrying 245,000 passengers in a season that runs from April 19 until Nov. 7.

Currently, ships anchor close to town and tender passengers in on small vessels.

Growing cruise ship traffic to Maine has raised concerns in a number of smaller midcoast towns, including Rockland and Southwest Harbor, about whether they have adequate infrastructure capacity to handle large volumes of visiting passengers.


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