Fish Pier construction moves forward
The Boothbay Harbor Planning Board approved the town's application for building the new “Harbor Bait” building on the Fish Pier.
Some new updates include public restrooms, accessible from the outside of the building; a more efficient loading zone away from Atlantic Avenue to minimize noise; and defined pedestrian walkways on the pier to maximize safety.
Donna Piggott, who runs the Atlantic Ark Inn across the street from the pier, voiced her concerns about too much noise after hours.
“I run a business based on sleep,” Piggott said.
Town Manager Tom Woodin, who was presenting the plan along with Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Hamblen, responded to Piggott's concerns.
“We have taken steps to minimize noise, and it won't be like it was before with trucks unloading right on Atlantic Avenue and blocking the street,” Woodin said. “It won't be a silent Fish Pier, but it will be an improvement.”
The Planning Board approved the plan with three provisions: that a sign showing a weight limit for trucks be on the pier (which has already been done); that the plans be amended to show the location of propane tanks and a visual buffer for them; and that defined pedestrian walkways be placed on the map to attempt to keep people away from dangerous areas where heavy equipment is used.
The application was approved with a vote of three for (Chris Swanson, John Hochstein and Chairman Michael Tomko) and one abstention, Thomas Churchill.
The Boothbay Harbor Board of Selectmen is charged with accepting or rejecting applications of potential Planning Board members. When the Planning Board members were asked if they felt any conflict of interest due to the fact that the chairman of the Board of Selectmen was presenting a plan, they replied that it was a bit “awkward,” but since the town manager did most of the presenting, the awkwardness was minimal.
Tomko added that he had contacted Becky Seel of the Maine Municipal Association earlier that day to make sure there was no conflict of interest in having Hamblen there presenting. Seel had assured him there was not, he said.
Tomko also thanked Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Smith for attending and helping answer questions from the board and audience.
The town is now seeking bids for construction of the new building. Bid specifications are available electronically or in paper format at the Town Office. Any interested parties are asked to call Woodin at 207-633-3671 for bid specifications. A pre-bidding meeting will be held November 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the Fish Pier (69 Atlantic Avenue). Any bidders must be present at the pre-bid meeting for their proposal to be considered.