Harpswell again extends deadline for waterfront purchase

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HARPSWELL — The Board of Selectmen has extended the deadline for purchasing a 6,000-square-foot waterfront property for a third time.

Selectmen at their Feb. 27 meeting voted unanimously to extend the deadline to April 1, just as the second extended deadline of March 1 was about to expire.

Voters approved the $85,000 purchase last November, two months after selectmen inked an agreement for the small parcel of land that abuts Lookout Point town landing on Harpswell Neck.

Selectmen hope to purchase Dain Allen’s land to help protect public waterfront access. Allen, proprietor of Allen’s Seafood, is offering the land for $7,000 less than its assessed value.

Town Administrator Kristi Eiane said the extension allows selectmen and Allen to continue negotiations on how to address contamination that has been detected in the property’s soil.

The deal’s original Dec. 30, 2013, deadline was extended after a $7,000 investigation by Portland-based Ransom Consulting found petroleum-laced soil in the Lookout Point Road property, and recommended mitigation.

Ransom has previously estimated that proper mitigation efforts with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection could cost around $10,000, and possibly involve rototilling the contaminated soil, or capping it with new soil.

If the sale is completed, Allen would cover half the cost of Ransom’s $7,000 soil investigation. It remains unclear who would foot the bill for mitigation work.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.