More praise than questions have come up during public discussions of the proposal by a group of marine industry professionals, doing business as DUBBA LLC, to build a shipyard on the former Stinson Seafood property site.

But in private conversations, the question on everyone’s lips seems to be: what the heck is DUBBA?  And if it were a different word, would we even be asking?

Here’s a hint: The name bears a strong resemblance to the acronym-turned-name of a waterfront neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.

During a special meeting to discuss modifications to the demolition plan, Jan. 25, City Planner Wayne Marshall offered Councilors in attendance a guess — an offer he said he made several days earlier while giving a talk to the downtown business group Our Town Belfast.

At that earlier meeting, the question was intended as an ice-breaker, Marshall said later, and he hadn’t had any takers.

He knew the answer. Given the Stinson Property’s history of false starts and big plans that never materialized, the name concerned Marshall, so he made a point to ask.

“A dubber is a person who thinks they know a little too much. They talk more than they do,” he said. So, was DUBBA, the Maine version of a dubber?

On Tuesday, at Marshall’s invitation, a couple of city officials took a stab at guessing the meaning of DUBBA.

“I thought it was Dubba and his other brother Dubba,” City Manager Joe Slocum joked.

Councilor Eric Sanders ventured a plausible guess starting something like “Demolition United Bridge…”

Marshall set the record straight. The acronym stands for Down Under Belfast Bridge Association, he said.

 

Rubble trouble averted

At the Jan. 25 meeting, representatives of DUBBA LLC, including J.B. Turner, Steven White and Will Gartley of the engineering firm Gartley & Dorsky, asked for more time to complete demolition of the skeletal structure at the north end of the property known as Building 1.

As part of a memorandum of agreement with the city, developers agreed to take the structure down within 60 days of the sale on Jan. 14, and they noted Tuesday, Jan. 25, that they still plan to do so, but asked if the rubble could remain on site until May.

Gartley explained the remains of the building would be ground into six-inch pieces and deposited within the foundation, then leveled, with the intention of using it as a substrate for future construction on the site. This would all happen during the 60-day time frame, he said.

Asked if this would mean mounds of unsightly or unsafe debris on the site, Gartley estimated the amount of rubble created by demolishing the building would not rise above the surface of the existing foundation, and in fact, the group would likely need to add additional fill later.

In the meantime it would be necessary to build a retaining wall to keep debris from sliding into the bay, he said.

Council members, who seemed to regard the modification to the agreement as minor, asked about the safety of having debris left on the site for several more months, and Gartley said the owners plan to remove the steel components of the building and construct a fence around the area until the retaining wall and surface work is completed.

The Council approved the change to the demolition schedule with a unanimous vote. Two members, Councilor Roger Lee and Mayor Walter Ash were not present at the meeting.