KENNEBUNKPORT – Selectmen have set a special town meeting for 6 p.m., Sept. 22, at Village Fire Station in connection with a recent $2.1 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant for reconstruction of Cape Porpoise Pier.

Terms of the grant require a mortgage lien on the pier for the “useful life of the project,” considered to be 20 years.

“This is a requirement of the EDA grant, in order to ensure that the EDA investment will not be sold or transferred without EDA notification,” Town Manager Laurie Smith said in a memo to the board of selectmen.

Kennebunkport will host a special town meeting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Village Fire Station in connection with the terms of a $2.1 million federal grant the town received to rebuild Cape Porpoise Pier. Tammy Wells photo

The EDA announced the grant award in April. It will be coupled with about $500,000 in state funds and about $40,000 in local funds for a complete rebuild of the pier, said selectmen board chair Ed Hutchins.

“It is simply a lien,” Hutchins said at the Sept. 7 board meeting. “When the federal government gives us the money to rebuild the pier, they will have a lien so this board, or a future board, cannot sell or change its use. No money will change hands.”

He said the special town meeting is taking place on Sept. 22, so the bids can go out in November or December with a view for the work to start this winter.

About 55 commercial fishermen use Cape Porpoise Pier. It is the largest commercial harbor between Portland and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. According to a report by the engineering firm GEI Consultants, pier landings include 705 tons of cargo annually, which works out to $9 million to $11 million in annual commerce.

Planned improvements include repair, replacement and reconstruction of the main pier substructure and granite bulkhead; widening of the existing south portion to improve landside access and available workspace; and replacement of steep and aging gangways and the float system on the north side. It includes adding new floats and a handicapped accessible gangway on the south side; demolition and replacement of the existing bait shed and harbormaster’s office with a flood resistant, code complaint and energy efficient structure, and utility upgrades that include fuel, power, sewer, water, and lighting, according to an overview of the project.

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