Acadia National Park has plan to fix seasonal employee housing shortage

BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - "Seasonal employees are sort of the bread and butter of our operation."

There's a housing shortage for seasonal workers at Acadia National Park.

But, they hope to fix that by adding housing units.

"The park service at Acadia really feels that we need to do something about it, and we looked back and there is a possibility of doing that with a private sector through this legislation that for some reason has never been used. So we are going back to 1996 and using the authority that Congress gave us to work with a private sector."

Acadia would become the first national park in the nation to partner with a private developer on housing.

"So we have located a spot in the park that has actually been identified for housing since 1959."

It's not yet known who the private developer will be, or what it will cost.

"We are putting out information about a request for proposals that will invite people to compete for developing this housing, and we hope to have that in the next six to nine months."

We're told seasonal employees are extremely important when it comes to how the park runs during the busy seasons.

"These are primarily law enforcement and protection rangers, resource management staff, interpreters and naturalists that provide programs, and most are actually maintenance employees that help keep our facilities going for all of our visitors."

Acadia would lease the site to the developer for fifty years and would allow the developer to build more units that could be leased to people who do not work for Acadia.

The goal is to break ground in 2020.