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August 13, 2018

Acadia deferred maintenance cost drops slightly

Photo / David Clough
Photo / David Clough
Acadia National Park has a list of more than 350 deferred maintenance projects with an estimated price tag of $59.8 million. Visitors to Acadia National Park were up 11.7% in May, compared to the previous May, putting the park on track for a record year.

Acadia National Park has a list of more than 350 deferred maintenance projects with an estimated price tag of $59.8 million, which is roughly $10 million less than its backlog reported in 2017.

The Bangor Daily News reported that despite Acadia's nearly $300 million benefit for the local economy, the park is unable to keep up with needed work. Keith Johnston, the park's head of facilities maintenance, told the newspaper projects on the list range from several thousand dollars to several million dollars. But the National Park Service has approved funds for some projects, including interior improvements to the Visitors Center in Hulls Cove, and an upgrade the power supply to the Schoodic Education and Research Center.

In 2017, Acadia's deferred maintenance backlog was estimated at $71 million.

At that time, Acadia officials told Mainebiz that deferred maintenance projects included roads, buildings, trails, housing stock, the water system, wastewater/septic systems and campgrounds. Roads were by far the biggest need, requiring about $42 million worth of work at the time. Although the roads look fine on the surface, their underlying structure, particularly the storm water systems, needs work — especially due to increasing storm surges and storm-water runoff, officials said.

In 2015, Acadia officials told Mainebiz that the park makes up for an underfunded budget by selectively deferring maintenance projects, prioritizing personnel hires and putting off certain construction projects. At that time, deferred maintenance projects in Acadia amount to $57.6 million.

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