Bar Harbor Ferry Terminal Visioning Workshop
In June, Bar Harbor voters approved a plan to buy a former ferry terminal along the waterfront to be revitalized.
Some in town thought it was a forgone decision that the state owned property would be used to service cruise ships.
However, a public meeting held this evening with engineering firm hired to develop a plan laid out a variety of possible futures and raised questions for some in attendance.
"The opportunity that people have a thoughtful discussion about it without getting emotional one way or the other," said Louis Ajamil, CEO of Bermello Ajamil & Partners, the engineering firm hired for the project.
"If we come together and give them a straight answer without having a big fight about it I think they'll change their mind," said one attendee, "We just went through a little tough time, but I think the state was getting a little nervous. I don't think they are so nervous anymore. So, let's open our minds and get over it ."
"Why did we vote first before this?" asked one woman during the public comment portion of the meeting, "This is the information, this is what we needed. Most people were under the impression that we couldn't have it both ways. That we could only acquire the property if we basically agreed to what the state said that we had to do with it. We were told that over and over again and now we're talking about all these different ideas. But we already had this vote so this seems completely backwards to me."
"When you have something as complicated as bringing in cruise ships, a transportation plan our town is dysfunctional to say the least," said another town resident, "We have not solved that, but we can solve that because we need to look at a whole."
"We are open to all suggestions," said Ajamil, "There is not one area or one specific use that we are married to. This is the town's decision."
Town officials currently plan to hold one more visioning workshop.
They say the current plan is to vote on a finalized use for the property by June of next year.