The City Council voted 8-1 late Monday night to sell a small piece of land that is seen as key to redeveloping the eastern waterfront.

The city will receive $400,000 for selling the roughly 12,000-square-foot lot near the Ocean Gateway to CPB2, which is looking to redevelop the former Portland Co. site. Two-thirds of the land being conveyed to the developer will be used for a road to access the 10-acre Portland Co. parcel.

As part of next year’s budget, city officials expect to devote $1.2 million to extend Thames Street as well as public utilities to the site.

The deal was recommended by the council’s Economic Development Committee, which took up the proposal in eight meetings since the spring.

However, Mayor Ethan Strimling voiced opposition to the deal last week, saying it was a bad deal for taxpayers.

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During Monday’s meeting, councilors took turns chastising Strimling for trying to sink the deal at the last minute by criticizing the deal in the media without working harder to shape it.

“It concerns me this is not the first time we’ve had a person try to change the negotiations of this committee in the middle of the game,” said Councilor David Brenerman, who chairs the economic development panel.


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