Councilors approve funding request for new commercial fishing facility

Project paid for through "performance guarantee" funding and Enk fund
By Ben Holbrook | Nov 12, 2012

Belfast — City councilors authorized funding to modify the commercial fishing and float facilities near the Weathervane Restaurant at the bottom of Main Street.

Funding for the project comes from two sources: $200,000 in “performance guarantees” from the former Belfast Bridge LLC., and a smaller portion taken from the Enk Trust Fund, City Manager Joseph Slocum explained.

The city obtained the performance guarantee funds as a part of contract with Belfast Bridge LLC regarding the development of the former Stinson Seafood property. At the time, the developer agreed to invest in the development of a walkway and a new commercial fishing facility.

Originally, the city anticipated about $500,000 would be invested in the walkway and commercial fishing improvements by Belfast Bridge LLC. Despite the fact that the proposed development never came to fruition, the city still managed to secure $200,000 in funding, Slocum said.

Of the $200,000 in performance guarantee funds, about $120,000, or 60 percent, is to be used to upgrade the commercial fishing facilities. Any additional funds required to complete the project would come from the Enk Trust Fund, which was previously established to enhance the harbor and related improvements.

Depending on the final cost of the project, Slocum said, the amount of funding can be adjusted accordingly.

The remaining portion of the performance guarantee funds would benefit the Harbor Walk project, Slocum said.

In addition to authorizing the funding request, councilors also gave Slocum permission to sign a new submerged land lease with the state, which allows the city to place any necessary pilings and float configurations needed to blend existing dock and fueling facilities with a newly enhanced commercial fishing facility.

Councilors approved the request by a vote of 4-0, with Councilor Nancy Hamilton absent.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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