Portland council OKs state pier lease, boat yard expansion
PORTLAND — The City Council Monday unanimously approved a lease agreement with a local seafood company for space on the Maine State Pier.
The council also voted in favor of allowing Maine Yacht Center on Kensington Street to expand its operations.
Ready Seafood Co. will pay the city $100,000 a year to lease about 10,000 square feet of warehouse space at the end of the Maine State Pier, along with permission to use the southern end of the pier for accepting deliveries by boat.
The three-year lease can be terminated at any time by the city, but the city would have to pay Ready up to $100,000 for investments made by the company. Ready plans to use the warehouse for lobster wholesaling, packaging, shipping and processing.
Brothers John and Brendan Ready own Ready Seafood and Catch a Piece of Maine. They now operate at Hobson's Wharf, but according to the city, the brothers need more space and did not want to continue their lease at Hobson's when it terminates at the end of the year.
The 100,000-square-foot shed on the Maine State Pier is vacant except for office space used by Portland Tugboat. Five tenants and the city's Transportation and Ports Department used to have space in the building, but in April 2008 the city asked all the tenants to move out in an attempt to save money. The Transportation and Port Department was eliminated.
At that time, the city said it cost $200,000 in utilities annually to keep the shed open.
The Maine Yacht Center's Kensington Street property was approved for a conditional re-zoning that will allow it to provide outdoor boat storage and season repair and maintenance of boats, masts, stands and accessory marine equipment.
As part of the deal, the East Deering boatyard and marina has to put $2,500 in a fund for a possible trail along the side of the property. If the trail doesn't happen in the next five years, the center gets to keep the money.
The council also voted to remove the requirement that the center construct a sidewalk on the opposite side of Kensington Street. Councilor Cheryl Leeman said the property owner there did not want a sidewalk in front of his home.
Earlier Monday, Councilors Nick Mavodones, Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall were sworn in for three-year terms.
Mavodones, who was elected in November to a fifth term, was also appointed by fellow councilors to a third one-year term as mayor.
Three School Committee members were sworn in at a separate ceremony Monday. Sarah Thompson was sworn in for a second term and Jenna Vendil and Ed Bryan were both sworn in for first terms.
School Committee member Peter Eglinton was appointed chairman, and committee member Kate Snyder will continue to serve as chairwoman of the Finance Committee.