June 29, 2012

Town of Cranberry Isles
Municipal Advisory Commission
Meeting Minutes
Islesford Neighborhood House
Friday, June 29, 2012

Attendance: Jim Fortune, BOS Administrative Assistant, Cory Duggan, Jim Amuso, Selectmen Phil Whitney, Malcolm Donald, Katelyn Damon, Jeff Berzinis, and Committee Chairman Ron Axelrod (by teleconference)

Manset Site Tour: Manset site tour by MAC Members (starting at 9:00 A.M.; teleconferencing was not available for the site tour)

The MAC met at the Town’s Manset facility in Southwest Harbor. The meeting and site visit convened in the office/waiting area. At the start of the meeting, the MAC conducted a tour the Manset facility and them return to the office to continue the meeting approximately 10:00 a.m... For logistical reasons and convenience the MAC members reconvened the meeting at the Marsh Insurance Co. office building.

Call To Order: 10:05 A.M.

Reviewed Meeting Agenda

Meeting Minutes: Tabled the Minutes of the May 31, 2012 MAC meeting.

Strategy session for the public meeting for the TCI Commuter Ferry Service:
The scheduled times for the July 3rd public meetings/forums to get input on the new contracts for the commuter ferry service. The times for the forums are 9:00 am on GCI and 1:00 pm on Islesford. A regular MAC meeting will immediately follow the Islesford public forum on the TCI Commuter Ferry Service.

Scope of Presentation:
• Provide background of the establishment of the commuter ferry service
• Outline possible options for going forward
• Outline the long-term objectives of the Transportation Committee
• What do other islands do (fare structure, schedules, etc.)
• Options for the future (separate contracts or combined for the summer & winter service)
• Safety measures
• Improved schedules
• Reliability

Tuesday’s meetings will focus on the current TCI Commuter Ferry Service and the new contracts that will go to bid.

1. What are the immediate needs of the current TCI Commuter Ferry Service
2. What about future ferry service. Can It eventually include all ferry service to the Cranberry Isles under a single contract (similar to Casco Bay Lines transit district)
3. We need to look at what our long-term needs are as a community relative to ferry service
4. The 2-year option (length of contract) allows us to study future long-term needs as a community relative to ferry service without getting locked into a longer term contract of 5 years or more

Last time around, the bidders felt that anything less than a 5-year contract term was unacceptable because of their cost horizons (i.e. they are not able to adequately recoup investments in equipment and staff).

A consensus of the MAC is that the Town (TCI) should control its own landing rights in NEH and SWH. They should belong to TCI and not the boat operator.

TCI should see if NEH will allow the TCI Commuter Ferry to also bring passengers in the morning on its way to Cranberry Isles. NEH currently does not permit paying passengers to board the TCI Commuter Ferry in NEH. Passengers can only be dropped off.

Ferry service should be customer driven and not operator driven. It seems that the regular ferry services are more operator driven relative to fares and schedules, and TCI customer have very little say.

Ron Axelrod will lead the presentation and discussion at the public meetings on GCI and LCI.

The public forums should open with a focus on the TCI Commuter Ferry Service, but also allow comment on the future of all ferry operations serving Cranberry Isles.

Capital Improvement Plan: Discussion of the CIP was tabled for a future meeting.

Malcolm Donald has identified 3 possible appraisers that the Town could hire to do a complete professional real estate appraisal for the Manset facility. Malcolm has talked to all 3 of the appraisers to find out what their expertise is and if they could accomplish what the Town wants to do.

The Town would like to know what the market value of the entire property is in whole and its parts so that we can make informed decisions and plans that are most beneficial to TCI. We can’t make any real value decisions for the Town until we know what we have.

The MAC will recommend to the BOS that the Town get an formal appraisal for the Manset facility.

Items to appraise:
1. Mansell Road house (Marsh Insurance Building) and the lot.
2. Warehouses as rentals and as condominium spaces to be sold
3. Apartment/Boat Shop - Pagel's building.
4. House lot(s) on Shore Road north of the "Brown"house.
5. Parking lot
6. Dock and floats

Manset Site Tour:
MAC Members discussed the site tour of the Manset facility. What did it reveal and what are the long-term plans for the Manset property.

There are a number of larger maintenance items that need immediate attention. The roof of the boat/work shop and the warehouse buildings needs immediate work. The siding of these buildings needs to be painted or stained. There are several smaller maintenance items that will be done this summer and fall at the Marsh Insurance building and in the parking lot.

The Town may want to postpone some of the long-term maintenance items until the appraisal is completed and we have a better plan for long-term investment in the property.

Other Business: None

Audience Communications: None

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 11:38 a.m.