Portland Waterfront Working Group kicks off

Jan 3 meeting agenda, Scope of work and 2018 inventory are here links to the earlier inventory and 2010 zoning armaments are included in the 2018 inventory.

Meeting Schedule: through March:

Waterfront Working Group  Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5439


Waterfront Working Group  Thu Jan 3, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:55 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5422


Waterfront Working Group  Thu Feb 7, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:55 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5423


Waterfront Working Group  Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:55 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5432


Waterfront Working Group  Thu Mar 7, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:55 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5424


Waterfront Working Group  Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:55 PM

https://www.portlandmaine.gov/calendar.aspx?eid=5433

AGENDAS can be downloaded here:

PPH article about Portland waterfront cold storage

Port Authority revives plan for cold-storage warehouse

The Maine Port Authority plans to invest $16 million, six months after Americold pulled out of the project.

By PETER McGUIRE Staff Writer

By PETER McGUIRE Staff WritertrueX:\Main\manifest_PD_20181231_16.txt\\192.168.0.55\Olive\E-pub\Daily\Profiles\Morning Sentinel\XML Setting\MTMS_Settings.XML

The Maine Port Authority plans to invest $16 million to resurrect plans for a cold-storage warehouse for the Port of Portland.

A funding proposal comes about six months after international cold storage company Americold dropped plans to build a warehouse near the International Marine Terminal.

Authority board members recently agreed to allocate $8 million from Maine’s transportation budget and use federal tax incentives to get another $8 million from private investors.

The authority wants to use that capital to court a private-sector partner to help pay for and operate a refrigerated warehouse on state-owned land at the port. The project is expected to cost at least $26 million.

“I think it is the quickest way to get the project done in the best terms for the port authority possible,” said Jonathan Nass, the authority’s chief executive officer.

Refrigerated storage at the state’s only container terminal has for years been a top priority for state and local officials. Supporters say a temperature-controlled facility could make the terminal more competitive; benefit local food, beverage and biomedical producers; and aid Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company with U.S. headquarters in Portland.

“We certainly feel there is a need for a cold storage,” said Andrew Haines, vice president of Eimskip USA. “We have not decided if we are going (to be the private partner) in that. It is still on the drawing board.”

Eimskip specializes in refrigerated cargo and has said cold storage in Portland is critical to expand its cross-Atlantic shipping business.

In the past year, the company began weekly container service between Portland, Atlantic Canada and Reykjavik. The number of containers landing in Portland has nearly tripled since Eimskip started shipping there five years ago, according to state data.

Maine will need cold storage to keep growing that traffic, Haines said.

“Space in the cold stores in Boston and New Hampshire continues to get tighter every year, and our customers are crying out for it,” he said.

The International Marine Terminal could support more than 740 direct and indirect jobs and add $101 million in economic output by 2025, according to a low economic impact estimate drafted in 2017 by the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

“The construction of a cold storage warehouse would fill a critical gap in global cold storage logistics while supporting Maine’s biotech, agriculture, seafood, and food and beverage industries,” said council Executive Director Kristina Egan. “Maine is clearly lacking in freezer capacity, and this project would help the economy of the region and the state.”

Three years ago, the port authority chose Americold to build and operate a $30 million warehouse

on state-owned land next to the container terminal. That plan was put on ice as Portland’s economic development department spent a year and a half drafting new zoning rules to allow the almost 68-foot-tall building, a proposal fiercely opposed by neighbors in Portland’s West End. The City Council approved zoning changes in September 2017, but Americold never pursued construction. The company officially ended its involvement last June.

This time around, Nass said, the Maine Port Authority wants to have more involvement planning, designing and operating the building, instead of contracting those obligations to another company entirely.

“The difference is that we will be in a position to be, if not an owner, then to have a bigger piece of it and have a little more control,” he said.

The Maine Department of Transportation set aside $8 million in its three-year work plan for the cold storage project. Nass hopes to match that with another $8 million in private investment raised through the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. That program gives investors up to a 39 percent income tax credit for putting money into qualified projects in low-income areas. Even when Americold was involved, it was assumed that the New Markets credit would be used to fund construction, Nass said.

He hopes to have the cash in hand and be ready to bargain with a partner as soon as spring 2019.

“We have had a lot of interest from a lot of parties,” he said. “We will be negotiating with actual partners with $16 million in capital instead of $8 million in capital.”

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: pmcguire@pressherald.com

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

Waterfront article from NY Times

SQUARE FEET

Maine Waterfront Quandary: Restoration or Redevelopment?

The sunken wreckage of the Cora F. Cressey, a wooden schooner that serves as a breakwater at the Bremen Lobster Pound Co-Op, a working waterfront property in Maine owned by Boe Marsh. Residents in several Maine coastal communities are debating how their shoreline should be developed.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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The sunken wreckage of the Cora F. Cressey, a wooden schooner that serves as a breakwater at the Bremen Lobster Pound Co-Op, a working waterfront property in Maine owned by Boe Marsh. Residents in several Maine coastal communities are debating how their shoreline should be developed.CreditCreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

By Lisa Prevost

  • Dec. 25, 2018

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Me. — As a child, Paul Coulombe used to spend lazy summer days with his family in this tiny coastal village. Now, convinced the town “hasn’t kept up,” he has plans to reshape it.

Mr. Coulombe, a 65-year-old liquor magnate, has spent the last 10 years pouring his fortune into upgrading the Boothbay region long known as a summer vacation spot where tourists wander footbridges, take boat tours and eat lobster rolls. His aim, he said, is to bolster tourism as a way of “helping everyone in the community.”

Paul Coulombe estimates he has invested roughly $100 million into redevelopment efforts in and around Boothbay Harbor, Me.CreditDerek Davis/Portland Press Herald, via Getty Images

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Paul Coulombe estimates he has invested roughly $100 million into redevelopment efforts in and around Boothbay Harbor, Me.CreditDerek Davis/Portland Press Herald, via Getty Images

Some residents are skeptical.

His purchase and renovation of the country club in neighboring Boothbay caused grumbling about higher fees and fancy trappings. His takeover of the Cuckolds lighthouse restoration effort drew derision after the project morphed into a $600-a-night bed-and-breakfast. And his championing of a new roundabout for a traffic-clogged thoroughfare sharply divided voters.

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But Mr. Coulombe’s latest proposal, aimed at the heart of this close-knit harbor town, may prove to be the most divisive yet. At his urging, town officials are considering opening up the east side of the harbor, restricted for the past 30 years to traditional maritime uses like lobster fishing, to allow new tourist-oriented development.

Boothbay Harbor Inn, left, and Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort, both properties owned by Mr. Coulombe.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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Boothbay Harbor Inn, left, and Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort, both properties owned by Mr. Coulombe.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

A planning board proposal under review would maintain the restrictions on the small portion of the harbor with piers used by lobster fishermen, buying stations and a bait supplier. But the other three-quarters of the so-called Maritime District, which is lined with modest wooden inns, which were built before the restrictions were in place. The district would be rezoned, making it possible for them to be redeveloped.

Critics say the town should not give up a scarce resource. Only 20 miles of Maine’s 3,500-mile shoreline can still be considered working waterfront, according to the Island Institute, a community development organization. Maine Preservation, a nonprofit group, even put Boothbay Harbor’s working waterfront on this year’s list of the state’s Most Endangered Historic Places, citing the threat posed by the zoning proposal.

Ken Fitch, spokesman for Friends of the Harbor, a group opposed to zoning changes along the Boothbay Harbor’s waterfront. “The east side should look authentic as working waterfront – it’s not supposed to look like a resort,” he said.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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Ken Fitch, spokesman for Friends of the Harbor, a group opposed to zoning changes along the Boothbay Harbor’s waterfront. “The east side should look authentic as working waterfront – it’s not supposed to look like a resort,” he said.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

“The east side should look authentic as a working waterfront — it’s not supposed to look like a resort,” said Ken Fitch, a spokesman for Friends of the Harbor, a group opposed to the proposal. “The sheer volume of what that man wants to do is what scares us.”

But supporters of the rezoning point out that the harbor’s existing fishing operations have not expanded since the district was established in the 1980s. And given the town’s aging population and efforts to expand the economic base and attract young families, many say it would be foolish to forgo the tens of millions in investment that Mr. Coulombe is dangling.

Tourists in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Mr. Coulombe wants to bolster tourism in the town.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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Tourists in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Mr. Coulombe wants to bolster tourism in the town.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

“It feels like it could be a missed opportunity,” said Martha Gleason, a co-owner with her husband of Gleason Fine Art, a gallery situated among the dense array of shops and cafes on the west side of the harbor. “I’m absolutely thrilled with what he’s done so far. He does very classy work.”

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Such a clash of interests is already playing out an hour to the south in Portland, where the City Council this month enacted a six-month moratorium on waterfront development in response to a campaign by local fishermen who say increased traffic and a lack of parking are making it harder for them to get to their boats.

Mr. Marsh in the bait locker of his working waterfront operation in Bremen, Me. “It’s great to be able to protect something like this,” he said. “We’re giving people the ability to stay in place and hold on to what they’ve got.”CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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Mr. Marsh in the bait locker of his working waterfront operation in Bremen, Me. “It’s great to be able to protect something like this,” he said. “We’re giving people the ability to stay in place and hold on to what they’ve got.”CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

“The question Maine is dealing with is, how do we balance tourism and the working waterfront?” said Monique Coombs, the director of marine programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. “Yes, people think the fishing industry is declining. But we shouldn’t assume there aren’t opportunities there. Seafood is crucial to the Maine economy, and it is a draw for tourism.”

Some towns, including Belfast and Bar Harbor, are committing to new investment in a working waterfront, with both public and private dollars. In the tiny town of Bremen, on the Medomak River and Muscongus Bay, Boe Marsh, a businessman who moved to town 15 years ago, bought out a long-established co-op owned by lobster fishermen and, working alongside them, has invested several hundred thousand dollars into diversifying and updating the operation, called Community Shellfish.

“The question Maine is dealing with is, how do we balance tourism and the working waterfront?” said Monique Coombs, the director of marine programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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“The question Maine is dealing with is, how do we balance tourism and the working waterfront?” said Monique Coombs, the director of marine programs at the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

Oysters now grow in dozens of pillowlike floats on a two-acre section of water along the company’s quarter-mile waterfront. Lobster fishing boats unload their catches on a stone pier that dates to the 1930s. Various small buildings house a bait storage room, a processing facility and a new 16,000-gallon lobster tank, with temperature controls to keep the crustaceans in hibernation until they are sold.

Mr. Marsh said he was looking to further diversify through partnerships with entrepreneurs interested in mussel and kelp farming.

David Bean, the president of Bristol Lobster Sales, a lobster-buying station run by his family since 1962.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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David Bean, the president of Bristol Lobster Sales, a lobster-buying station run by his family since 1962.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

“It’s great to be able to protect something like this,” he said. “We’re giving people the ability to stay in place and hold on to what they’ve got.”

In Boothbay Harbor, a town of roughly 2,000 year-round residents, the issue is so fraught that emotions frequently spill out in public. Mr. Coulombe regularly jousts with his critics online, and he acknowledged saying some things he regretted.

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“Paul can be brash and speaks his mind fairly readily, and I think that turns some people off,” said Chuck Fuller, a supporter who owns a lobster bait and marine construction business on the east side. “On the flip side of that, most of the time we know what his opinion is. He’s upfront.”

A native of Lewiston, a town about 50 miles from Boothbay, Mr. Coulombe sold his family-run White Rock Distilleries to the parent company of Jim Beam for $605 million in 2012. He lives in a $30 million mansion he built in nearby Southport. He estimates he has invested roughly $100 million into redevelopment efforts in the Boothbay region.

A lobster pound is repurposed as an oyster farm at the working waterfront owned by Mr. Marsh.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

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A lobster pound is repurposed as an oyster farm at the working waterfront owned by Mr. Marsh.CreditTristan Spinski for The New York Times

Mr. Coulombe said he too valued preservation of Boothbay Harbor’s existing working waterfront. But he believes it is past time for the hotels there to be upgraded. He has already begun buying up property in the district, turning the former Rocktide Inn into a hotel extension of his country club, the Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort. But, he said, he cannot complete the full renovation under existing zoning.

“It doesn’t have central air-conditioning or elevators, and is really not handicapped-accessible,” he said. “We can’t even be open in the winter because all of our water pipes are too exposed and would freeze.”

He recently pulled out of an agreement to buy another inn for redevelopment, chastising town officials for not acting on the zoning change more quickly, which he said was costing the town jobs and tax revenue.

“He wants everything done so fast, you don’t see what’s happening until it’s too late,” said David Bean, the president of Bristol Lobster Sales, a lobster-buying station run by his family since 1962. “It’s getting to be like ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ here now. Some of the people like that, but that’s not the look I’m looking for.”

Mr. Bean prefers that the town take its time thinking through a plan for the east side, considering things like whether high-paying hotel guests are going to be tolerant of “the smell of fish, the diesel fumes, the old guy who blasts Patsy Cline on an eight-track all summer long when he goes out in his boat at 4:30 in the morning.”

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Some residents are acting to protect the working piers on their own. Douglas Carter, 76, recently sold his Sea Pier to a new foundation started by a resident with deep ties to the fishing community. The sale includes a deed restriction requiring the property, used by 30 fishermen, to be left in maritime use.

Meanwhile, town officials are bringing in an independent planner to review the rezoning proposal, before deciding whether to put it before voters in May. Michael Tomko, who sits on the board of selectmen, said he felt enormous pressure to “get this right.”

“I don’t want to be a bad neighbor to Paul,” he said, “but I also want to be a good neighbor to the rest of the community.”

A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 26, 2018, on Page B5 of the New York edition with the headline: In Maine, Restoration vs. Redevelopment. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

BDN article on working waterfront

dateline Dec 31, 2018 by Beth Brogan

When Portland’s city council earlier this month enacted a six-month moratorium on non-marine-related development along the city’s working waterfront, even The New York Times paid attention.

The moratorium resulted from a signature-collecting effort for a referendum that would seek to reinstate a requirement that all new projects in the waterfront zone be water-dependent, a rule that would effectively block new construction of hotels, restaurants and offices, which have proliferated in the area in recent decades.

Among other developments, the petition was triggered by a $40 million development project — four-story hotel, retail shops, office space and a parking garage — proposed for Fisherman’s Wharf.

The project is only one currently proposed for Portland’s waterfront, now largely lined with condominiums, restaurants and office buildings.

The Portland waterfront is also critically important to other fishing communities throughout the state. The city is home to the fish exchange and seafood buyers, vessel services, bait dealers and many communities as far as Port Clyde still buy all their ice from Portland.

“Without ice, you don’t have seafood,” Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, said.

But fishermen and others who make their living on Maine’s working waterfront have been on alert for nearly 20 years that precious few miles of Maine’s coast remain available for commercial fishing, an industry that in 2017 generated $569 million in landed value and more than $1 billion in economic activity.

‘A firestorm’

In 2008, the Island Institute released its seminal report, “ The Last 20 Miles: Mapping Maine’s Working Waterfront.” The report, based on several years of community mapping, found that of 142 coastal towns and 5,300 miles of coastline, only about 20 miles of working waterfront access remained. Furthermore, 15 percent of the coastal towns reported having no public access to the shore.

More recently, the Maine Working Waterfront Coalition, a group of industry, nonprofits, state agencies and others, reported that only 25 miles of Maine’s 5,300 miles of coast are devoted to commercial fishing activity — 0.36 percent. This 25 miles supports more than 26,000 fishing-related jobs and sustains an industry worth more than $740 million. Boat builders, boatyards and marinas employ another 3,000 people, generating $85 million in wages, the group reported.

“Maine has a lot of coastal development issues not specific to working waterfront,” said Matthew Nixon, deputy director of the Maine Coastal Program, which oversees the working waterfront program. “Coastal flooding, all those issues piled on top of increased coastal development creates a firestorm for working waterfront.”

A decade ago, voters approved bond funding for a Working Waterfront Access Protection Program (WWAPP). By awarding funding to purchase a covenant held by the DMR, an easement on a property that gives the holder access in perpetuity.

During the first two years major working waterfront wharves such as Holbrook’s in Cundy’s Harbor and the Port Clyde Fishermen’s Co-op were protected, along with 13 other projects, according to Land for Maine’s Future.

But in 2011, awards for funding slowed dramatically, with only five projects in the next three years, and since 2014, the bond funds have been unavailable. A request for proposals in 2015 yielded no funding, according to Nixon, and funding for a single project in 2016 was withdrawn.

Shifts and delays

When Gov. Paul LePage abolished the State Planning Office in 2012, the working waterfront program, part of Land for Maine’s Future, was moved to the Department of Agriculture, and then last year to the Department of Marine Resources.

Then, less than a month ago, not long after Mainers elected Democrat Janet Mills as their next governor, the Department of Marine Resources issued a request for proposals for up to $2 million in working waterfront projects.

According to the Department of Marine Resources, the delay in awarding funding since 2011 has been due to bureaucracy — transferring management of the proposals from Coastal Enterprises Inc. to the DMR, which was required to rely on existing staff. But vacancies in the department meant there were no staff to solicit projects, spokesman Jeff Nichols said, and “Commissioner [Patrick] Keliher had no alternative but to hold off on seeking new proposals until the department created the staff capacity to administer the solicitations.”

Until 2013, the working waterfront program awarded $5.3 million to preserve 25 properties — fishing co-ops, private buying stations and municipal wharves, among others — which support about 670 boats, 1,100 fishermen and 1,200 families, according to WWAPP data.

Annual landings supported by those properties totaled approximately $48 million.

New life?

Nixon, of the working waterfront program, said Thursday that he sees the request for proposals as an encouraging sign the program may again help the state maintain its threatened resource.

“Working waterfronts are a very important piece of the extraordinary mosaic that is Maine’s coast,” Nixon said in an email. “In addition to the obvious direct and indirect economic value they provide to the state of Maine and the communities where they are located, some of these places are truly cultural treasures that represent Maine’s maritime heritage. … I’m very happy to continue the Maine Coastal Program’s tradition of ensuring Maine’s coastal waters will always be accessible for everyone and that our fishing communities will always have a place to land their catch.”

Small towns, big changes

Portland is far from the only Maine waterfront community in conflict over waterfront development. Perhaps even more vulnerable to development than Portland’s waterfront, Boothbay Harbor has seen dramatic changes to its waterfront in the past few years, most from liquor magnate Paul Coulombe of Southport. The magnitude of the development drew the attention of the statewide historic preservation group Maine Preservation.

Coulombe, who built an 18,000-square-foot mansion on Pratt’s Island off nearby Southport, purchased and redeveloped the former Boothbay Harbor Country Club and the former Rocktide Inn and Restaurant into the Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Country Club, has said he’s invested $100 million in the town. He now leads an effort to rezone the east side of the harbor — and much of the town’s Maritime Zone — into a limited commercial district, which would allow hotels, recreational marinas and housing.

Coulombe was set to purchase another large property, Cap’n Fish motel and restaurant, and in a release published in the Boothbay Register in October said he’d invested $500,000 in nonrefundable deposits, in order to build $30 million in a “new hotel, restaurant and world-class conference center” on the site.

Coulombe has insisted that existing accomodations in town won’t attract world travelers, and argues that his renovations have and would bolster the town’s tax coffers.

But a key part of Coulombe’s vision for the east side of the harbor was thwarted in November when a group known as the Boothbay Region Maritime Foundation purchased the nearby Sea Pier with a restrictive covenant that limits the use to “working waterfront.”

Deanne Tibbetts, a member of the foundation whose husband lobsters out of nearby Southport, said at the time, “The fishing heritage is very important to me. … It’s not just the working waterfront. It really, really is heritage. It’s about keeping your sense of community. That’s what I see as the greatest threat here. It isn’t so much losing a piece of land where people can get to the waterfront. It’s a whole culture that [would] be impacted by losing that waterfront.”

Citing Boothbay Harbor as “a prime example” of endangered working waterfront, Maine Preservation has asked the town to re-examine how it manages its historical and cultural resources, and recommended the town update its comprehensive plan.

“This zoning change would open a key stretch of working waterfront to economic pressures that could forever alter the historic character of this area, and significantly impact the viability of marine-based industries in Boothbay Harbor,” Maine Preservation wrote.

Still, projects already facilitated by the Working Waterfront Access Protection Program offer signs of hope for communities still in conflict.

In 2008, the village of Port Clyde celebrated a restored and expanded historic town wharf, built for about $500,000 with funds from the WWAPP.

The Port Clyde Lobstermen’s Cooperative sold development rights to the state so the dock would remain working waterfront in perpetuity.

Gerry Cushman, who has lobstered out of the co-op for about 30 of his 40 years, said members of the co-op opted to build a new dock “to also help other fisheries like ground fishing, shrimping, scalloping and herring fishing.”

Today, scallopers, tuna fishermen and others also unload on the dock.

Cushman, whose grandfather was among the fishermen to found the co-op, said, “this is a place for me to unload my catch. But when I’m done, I’ll just pass it along to the next generation.”

This summer, the town of St. George, which includes the village of Port Clyde, narrowly approved a $2.6 million wharf upgrade with the goal of preserving access to the working waterfront.

“St. George is definitely ahead of the curve,” Cushman said of working waterfront issues. “It seems to be a proactive town.”

In 2010, town officials in Owls Head realized that a 50-year-old lease on a 3-foot-wide easement for foot traffic along a wharf was likely not a sustainable solution for fishermen.

In June 2016, the town purchased, for $305,000, just more than 1 acre of waterfront property, to ensure continued public access to the water for commercial fishermen and others.

The Owls Head project was “a good example of a community beginning to realize that they haven’t publicly owned a wharf in town before,” Nixon said. The town is undergoing design work for a public wharf on the property they purchased, he said.

And back in 2006, the first project funded by the WWAPP, Holbrook’s wharf in Cundy’s Harbor, has seen Holbrook Community Foundation rebuild and improve the wharf, added a new building for commercial fishermen, and rehabilitated other buildings on the property including a seasonal restaurant and general store.

Despite their early action, working waterfront in Harpswell isn’t secure. In 2017, Portland real estate developer Arthur Girard outbid the owners of Cook’s Lobster & Ale House to purchase the Bailey Island wharf adjacent to the restaurant.

Girard, who paid $510,000 for the wharf, said at the time he wasn’t sure what he’d do with the property, which for decades has operated as a commercial fishing wharf for local lobstermen.

Nick and Jennifer Charboneau, owners of Cook’s, said at the time, “as long as they do the work and maintain the wharf and make it a safer place and take care of the people who work there,” they’d be satisfied.

Jennifer Charboneau said Thursday that neither she nor her husband has heard of any plans to develop the wharf.

“He’s done some work on the wharf — not a ton — and has focused more on the lobstermen who fish there, as he should, and he’s done some work to the ferry side to make it more safe,” she said. “I don’t believe he has any plans to do anything other than what he initially promised, and I hope that stays true.”

State Working Waterfront funding in 2019?

Article from Bangor Daily News:

— The effort to preserve Maine’s working waterfront could get a boost in 2019. While Portland sorts out conflicts between working waterfront proponents and developers during a six-month moratorium, smaller coastal Maine communities are adopting new tactics and hoping that new state funding will become available in the new year. For the first time in almost eight years, the Department of Marine Resources issued a request for proposals for up to $2 million in working waterfront projects. According to the Department of Marine Resources, the delay in awarding funding has been due to bureaucracy — transferring management of the proposals from Coastal Enterprises Inc. to the DMR, which was required to rely on existing staff. But vacancies in the department meant there were no staff to solicit projects, spokesman Jeff Nichols said, and “Commissioner [Patrick] Keliher had no alternative but to hold off on seeking new proposals until the department created the staff capacity to administer the solicitations.”

Waterfront Working Group members and meeting schedule

Article in PPH announcing working group members and meeting schedule;. essential info below:

Portland officials announced the membership of a new Waterfront Working Group on Friday to address a variety of issues that prompted the City Council to enact a six-month moratorium on non-marine-use development in the Waterfront Central Zone.

The group will consist of lobstermen Willis Spear, Keith Lane and Bill Coppersmith; Charlie Poole, representing Union Wharf; Steve DiMillo, representing Long Wharf and DiMillo’s Restaurant and Marina; Mike Alfiero, representing Holyoke Wharf and Harbor Fish Market; Togue Brawn of Downeast Dayboat Scallops; Becky Rand of Becky’s Diner; and community members Cyrus Hagge and Dory Waxman.

The working group will meet at City Hall on the first and third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. in Room 24. All meetings are open to the public. City staff members from various departments will attend.