BLUE HILL – After more than two years of discussions, the town and the state may be ready to move ahead with plans to purchase public access to Billings Pond.
Town officials and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have been discussing the purchase of the approximately 3-acre parcel with a willing owner, Roland Tarr.
The difficulty has involved questions about property lines, according to Selectman Jim Schatz. The state recently has agreed to move ahead with a survey of the property.
“We’re trying to push it along,” Schatz said last week. “We don’t want this opportunity to slip by.”
Town voters at the annual town meeting in 2004 authorized the selectmen to enter into a management agreement with the DIF&W for the land. The selectmen had proposed that the town purchase the property outright, but after the town warrant had been printed, the state expressed interest in the property. Voters at the time also allocated $1,000 to cover the cost of managing the land.
Although the land is just a small parcel located at one end of the pond, it has access off Route 172 and would provide public access to the water. The state is interested in the property because Billings Pond is considered a prime fishing pond for brook trout.
The state has discussed the property with a surveyor who should be able to determine where the property lines go in time for the state to purchase the property by the end of this year.
The owner also would like to see the sale completed by the end of the year, Schatz said.