Harbor Committee Meeting Minutes June 16, 2016

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Harbor Committee Meeting Minutes
June 16, 2016
Cranberry House, Great Cranberry Island

Attendance:
Bill Dowling, Chairman, Harbor Committee
Richard Howland, Harbor Committee
James Fortune, Harbor Committee Alternate
Bruce Fernald, Harbormaster
Dennis Dever, Manset Dockmaster
Florence Joy Sprague, BOS
Nanette Hadlock, Deputy Clerk
Karin Whitney, MAC
I. Call to Order: 4:00 P.M. by Chairman Bill Dowling.
There is a quorum present at today‘s meeting.
II. Review / Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes: (05/10/16)
James Fortune moves to accept the May 10, 2016 Harbor Committee meeting minutes as written. Richard Howland seconds the motion. All in favor. Motion passes.
III. Second Review of Proposed Changes to Harbor Management Ordinance
James Fortune reports that the Municipal Advisory Commission did not feel comfortable giving feedback on proposed changes to the Harbor Management Ordinance. The Harbor Committee will review the proposed changes, specifically section 5.8.3, the matrix chart for functions. Of the seven functions listed in the matrix, the Harbor Committee recommends to only include two of them: Passenger Ferry Service and Commercial Marine Activities.
On June 14, 2016, James Fortune, Florence Joy Sprague, and Joanne and Paul Thormann attended a meeting of the Mount Desert Marine Management Committee in Northeast Harbor. The Town of Mount Desert reports that they currently have no space for TCI to dock at the Northeast Harbor Town Float for the summer months. The M.D. Marine Management Committee reports that they have received word from Beal and Bunker that they will continue to operate the ferry May 1 to Columbus Day each year, but are not going to run in the winter months. Their Harbor Management Ordinance, landing regulations, and agreement with Beal and Bunker only stipulate maximum use of Northeast Harbor, such as boat size, passenger loads and number of boat trips. Of these criteria, boat size and number of daily boat trips is the most important for management of the pier and harbor. Nothing in the landing rights requires Beal and Bunker to fully operate to the maximum allowed by their landing rights. Beal and Bunker can discontinue portions or the service, reduce trips, drop the mail contract, etc. without needing to modify or change its landing rights in Northeast Harbor. The Mount Desert Marine Management Committee expressed that they would like to add a criteria requiring those landing rights be tied to providing “essential services”, such as passenger ferry and mail service, however, this would require an ordinance re-write on their part. (Some members of the RFP committee for Cranberry Isles want parameters set before speaking with potential bidders). The only way that landing rights can be transferred is if Beal and Bunker gives them up by sale of the business or otherwise ceasing operation altogether. That would then require Mount Desert to advertise the availability of the landing rights which would then be allotted by lottery. Elimination of Beal and Bunker Ferry service during the winter would open up dock space in Northeast Harbor and the Town of Mount Desert would offer those landing rights which would by allotted by lottery. If the seasonal or year-round landing rights are awarded to the Town of Cranberry Isles, or another ferry service serving the islands, Mount Desert would need the following information:
a. Amount of boat traffic (#of daily trips) – they would like to see fewer boats that can carry the same or even more passengers (It’s really about the boat traffic)
b. Size of boats
c. Passenger and load capacities
d. No overlapping of competing ferry services

The Mount Desert Marine Management Committee suggested that some to the efforts by the TCI may be scaring off potential buyers who would operate a for profit commercial ferry just like Beal and Bunker, including over regulating what type of service is desired and tinkering with the TCI Harbor Management Ordinance. They suggested we speak with boat operators. By unanimous vote, the Mount Desert Marine Management Committee took the following action:

The Town of Mount Desert offers the Town of Cranberry Isles landing rights in Northeast Harbor for passenger ferry and mail delivery from the day after Columbus Day to April 30. This approval is contingent on receiving written confirmation from Beal & Bunker that they will not operate a ferry out of Northeast Harbor during that time and only intend to operate May 2 to Columbus Day. The Harbor Management Committee also will require Cranberry Isles to submit a boat plan for the winter ferry service before the landing rights are granted.

Bill Dowling suggests scrapping the matrix altogether and adding a couple of sentences to the TCI Harbor Management Ordinance addressing tour boats, passenger service, and water taxis.
Bruce Fernald suggests that the goal is for TCI to have a safe, year round business.
Bill Dowling moves that the Harbor Committee recommend to not adopting the proposed section 5.8.3. James Fortune seconds the motion. All in favor. Motion passes.

James Fortune moves to recommend that Section 5.8.6, Fees, read: Any fees shall be set by the Board of Selectmen in consultation with the Harbor Committee. Bill Dowling seconds the motion. All in favor. Motion passes.

Richard Howland moves to recommend that Section 5.8.6, Fees and that proposed grammatical changes could wait until the March 2017 annual Town meeting. James Fortune seconds the motion. All in favor. Motion passes.

James Fortune has received an email communication from MAC member Joanne Thormann, dated June 16, 2016, “I wonder if we should add an essential services clause to our harbor ordinance (like TMD) to “give it teeth” if we ever need, for some reason, prohibit a party from using TCI landing rights…”.

The Harbor Committee will brainstorm proposed definitions for the Harbor Management Ordinance.
IV. Other Business
None at this time.
V. Adjournment: 5:38 P.M.
Bill Dowling moves to adjourn the meeting. Richard Howland seconds the motion. All in favor. Motion passes.

Special thanks to Karin Whitney and the GCI Historical Society for use of the Cranberry House for the meeting and providing refreshments.

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