September 10, 2015 (Transportation Task Force)

Transportation Task Force
Meeting Notes
September 10, 2015
Cranberry House on GCI at 4:00 P.M.

Meeting called to order at 4:00 P.M.

Members Present: Paul Thormann, Joy Sprague; Skip Stevens, Sam Donald,
Ingrid Gaither, (by teleconference): Chris White, Sam Donald, Ron Axelrod

Other Present: Jim Fortune, Joanne Thormann, Jack Miller, Nathan Rome,
Karen Whitney, Trinks Howard, Erica Merrill; and Charlie Norris (by teleconference),

Ron Axelrod updated the Task Force on discussions with the NEH (Town of Mount
Desert) Harbor Management Committee on September 8th. The Harbor Management
Committee understood the issue presented to them by some members of the Cranberry
Isles Transportation Task Force members. However, there wasn’t much they could offer at
this point. The HMC explained that the landing rights go with the boats (i.e. operator of
those boats) and the only way that those rights space would opened up or transferred is if
the operator stopped running or sold the business. The landing rights would go with the
business. Any relief or change would need to come from an ordinance change approved
by the Town of Mount Desert.

August 29th Workshop Recap:
• Discussion about a consensus at the public workshop on August 29th.
• The Selectmen’s meeting on September 1st seems to take a different view that what was discussed at the workshop (Set a Special Town Meeting for October 24th; possible solution would be to set up a municipal transit authority (quasi-municipal dept.) if we can’t get a private operator to run the ferry service).
• There was a collective desire at the August 29th workshop that any approach or solution should not raise property taxes.
• The TTF seems to favor setting up a non-profit, while the community at large would like other options (the feeling amongst attendees is that a non-profit would not work here
• The Town (through the TTF) needs to develop an interim plan while the TTF spends time on researching and developing other options for a long-term plan (these have been partially developed by the TTF with assistance from the water transportation consultant Charlie Norris; additional work is needed to complete these models.
• The meeting with the NEH Marine Management Committee will have a significant impact on how the TTF proceeds.

The TTF would recommend that the date of the special Town Meeting be postponed until
sometime in November to give more time to work on an interim ferry service option. The
question is will we still have Beal and Bunker for the time-being (through the winter) or
will we need to find another operator for the interim period? Could Beal & Bunker be
purchased and then leased to another ferry operator.

Next Steps:
The TTF would like to get something in writing from David Bunker about his intentions
with respect to continuation of and selling the Beal and Bunker ferry business. What is for
sale and how much? Ron will contact David Bunker (via letter or telephone). Ask about
marine survey that specializes in boat acquisitions. Continue to explore how Cranberry
Isles can obtain landing rights in Northeast Harbor.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45 P.M.