July 09, 2020

Council to mull River Dog, building> City could own both cruise boat and former Slager Army Reserve Center

BANGOR — Votes by the City Council on Monday could bring the city into possession of both a cruise boat and a building to be used by the Bangor School Department. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The U.S. Government currently owns the former Harold Slager Army Reserve Center on Union Street. By promising to use the property for 30 years for educational purposes, the city can acquire it free under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act and the Department of Education Organization Act.

The city has discussed using the structure for programs such as alternative education and adult education.

Councilors also will vote on purchasing the River Dog cruise boat for $108,000.

Two years ago, the city entered an agreement with the Bangor Steamship and Packet Co. — an affiliate of the Sea Dog Brewing Co. — to lease the boat for two years.

In May, Bangor Steamship decided not to operate the vessel during its second season. Repairs kept the boat in Portland for much of the summer before the city could begin operating it in late August.

The lease agreement included the option to purchase the boat for $200,000, minus the $10,000 deposit and $72,000 in lease payments over the two-year period. That left a balance of $118,000, but the city offered $10,000 less on the grounds that some of the repairs were for work that needed to be done before the lease began.

Taking into account repair costs and the abbreviated season, the boat did not make money this year, “but it did well in terms of day-to-day operations,” said City Solicitor Norman Heitmann.

No decision has been made about whether city will operate the boat itself next year or contract for the service.

Also on Monday, the council will consider two unrelated actions concerning the Joseph P. Bass will.

Under the consent agenda, the panel will vote on accepting a trustees’ deed to a parcel of waterfront land that had previously been under a 999-year lease from Bass to Maine Central Railroad. The city took over the lease in 1996 when it purchased 28.8 acres of land from the railroad along the Penobscot River.

The trust, under which the city was one of the beneficiaries, has been closed out, Heitmann said. The city paid $38,000 to purchase the parcel outright, and also received some $85,000 from the closing of the trust.

In a separate matter, the council will consider under new business accepting release deeds from Bass heir and trustee Joseph Pierce concerning Bass Park.

The Bass will stated that the land for Bass Park, which was given to the city, should be used only for public and semi-public purposes. In some situations, the will was vague as to what was allowed, Heitmann said, such as when the city was considering the sale of “luxury boxes” for a baseball stadium a couple of years ago.

“That’s not to say the council has plans to do anything” along that line, Heitmann emphasized. But the change will give the panel more options regarding the park as a whole when considering future activities.

In other business, the council will take up:

A contract with the Annapolis firm of Hunter Interests Inc. for up to $35,300 to help the city solicit a developer for waterfront property along the Penobscot River.

The reallocation of $1 million in bond proceeds to purchase motor pool vehicles and a boiler, to do a needs assessment on Bass Park, to seal and waterproof Mansfield Stadium, to reline the West Side Pool, and to implement sewer separation projects. The money had been set aside for the purchase of the Affiliated Laboratory Building to help Eastern Maine Healthcare fund renovations to the Waterworks, but officials are now looking at other alternatives to make the EMH project feasible.

A payment of $5,000 to settle a Workers’ Compsensation claim by David O’Clair, employed by the waste water treatment plant.

An order to take possession of a parcel of land at 73 Sunset Ave. on a matured tax lien. John B. Dyer, who owns the property, owes the city some $11,000 in real estate taxes on the site. According to City Solicitor Norman Heitmann, the city does not plan to sell the property.

Purchasing an ambulance with $37,351 from the fire equipment reserve account. St. Joseph Hospital also has contributed $30,000.

Appropriating $265,000 to realign Sylvan Road with the intersection of Haskell and Hogan roads.

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