Bar Harbor Officials Recommend Buying Ferry Terminal

BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - Spend $3.5M to buy a ferry terminal and have it used it for marine purposes with the ability to tender cruise ships.

That recommendation coming from Bar Harbor's Leadership Committee Tuesday night, to be voted on by the town council next week.

A public meeting in Bar Harbor gave residents a chance to weigh in on what should be done with the terminal that's located off Eden Street.

Home to The Cat from 1997-2009, public discussion has been taking place for the last 2 months.

The role that cruise ships play in the town figured prominently in the opinions given. There were some for and some against, and those that came down somewhere in the middle.

Officials on the committee said it was a great opportunity for the town.

"It's bananas," said Bar Harbor resident Jim O'Connell, "110 buses in then 110 going back out again during rush hour. It's crazy."

"A moderate sized ferry Portland to Bar Harbor that doesn't sound like a bad opportunity for Bar Harbor," said resident Jeff Miller.

"The whole point of gaining the local control is so that we can make more rational decisions," said Committee Chair Ruth Eveland, "It will buy us some additional time. We can make the decisions in a fashion once we prove to ourselves that it's a viable model then we can invest in it."

Following the vote by the town council next week. The matter would go to Bar Harbor voters in June. If the measure passed they would then hire a consultant to formulate a business plan for the site.
The return of an international ferry could be a part of that plan.