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March 9, 2018

LePage vetoes Bar Harbor Port Authority bill

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill, An Act To Create the Bar Harbor Port Authority, that would allow Bar Harbor voters to create a local port authority.

Town Manager Cornell Knight told the Mount Desert Islander that he didn’t agree with LePage’s assessment that a port authority would “deflect accountability from the town,” because voters would elect the bulk of a potential port authority’s governing board.

In his veto letter, LePage also said that towns are well enough equipped to handle cruise ship traffic.

The Legislature can override the veto if two-thirds of both the House and Senate support the bill.

The discussion around creating a Bar Harbor Port Authority came in the midst of the town of Bar Harbor’s deliberations around buying the former ferry terminal on Eden Street for $3.5 million in order to split cruise ship traffic between the downtown wharf and the terminal.

Bar Harbor's Ferry Terminal Property Advisory Committee recommended in November that the town should buy the terminal, and the matter will go to a town vote in June.

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