FREEPORT — Council will decide at a special meeting Oct. 30 whether or not to grant permits to the Island Rover Foundation to move the 89-foot schooner that has been under construction in South Freeport for over 20 years.

The town received applications for multiple permits to move the schooner – which far exceeds length, height and weight limits of the town’s roads – to one of three potential launching sites for the ship. The permits state the foundation intends to launch it between Nov. 10 and 15.

This won’t be the first time Freeport Town Council has had to grapple with the Island Rover issue. In the past, the town has won lawsuits against the foundation for its violation of local zoning ordinances. A 2014 consent agreement was reached in Maine Superior Court, which found that the ship must be moved off property on Lower Flying Point Road to a property zoned for the construction of the schooner.

Since then, the town has sued the Island Rover Foundation for failing to move the ship, and took possession of the schooner in September 2016.

In January, the town also sought a contempt motion against the foundation, and in June, Maine Superior Court produced a finding of contempt.

Most recently, a judge ruled earlier this month that the vessel continues to be in violation of the original consent agreement and must be moved.

If the ship is eventually moved, the foundation may still face the prospect of multiple fines. Since Aug. 21, fines of $500 a day could be levied according to the June finding of contempt.

The special meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in Town Council Chambers.

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