Portland marina project has ‘BIG’ federal funding

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PORTLAND — A key piece in the development of the former Portland Co. property will be partially funded by a federal grant.

Planning and construction of a 220-slip marina at 58 Fore St. received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, administered by the Maine Department of Transportation.

“We were very pleased to have been awarded the grant and look forward to using it in a way that benefits the public and transient boating,” Jim Brady said Monday about the grant.

The private funding match for the Tier Two Boating Infrastructure Grant is $5.3 million, and Brady said it will cost more to build the marina.

Transient boating is defined as boats that are moored for 15 days or fewer. Within the marina, 42 slips will be set aside for boats 26 feet or longer, and 19 slips will be set aside for dinghies used by owners of larger boats anchored in the harbor.

Brady, along with partners Casey Prentice and Kevin Costello, are owners of the 10 acres of land and 13 submerged acres in Portland harbor. Operating as CPB2, they are embarking on a plan to redevelop the former St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad manufacturing site into a mixed-use complex.

As the developers received master planning approval from the city Planning Board on Dec. 20, 2016, Brady said the marina may get attention sooner than other development on land.

Kirby Marshall, an associate principal with the Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, office of Applied Technology Management Inc., has been working on the marina plans.

Marshall said Tuesday CPB2 will need permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Harbor Commissioners and city in order to build the marina.

The permits need to be in place by this fall, and the grant has a two-year window for construction after that, although the deadlines can be extended.

“It is going to be a marked improvement to the marina offerings Portland Yacht services currently provides,” Marshall said.

The slips will be open year round, built with concrete to protect boats from waves and boat wakes.

“It is a lot bigger and massive than what is out there now, and designed to withstand the conditions,” Marshall said.

The marina expansion has been listed as a project this year on the MDOT work plan, but project manager Brian Keezer said the department’s role is understated.

“We won’t have a day-to-day relationship there,” he said. Instead, the department will be reimbursing CPB2 for some costs for planning, permitting and actual construction.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife website, the BIG grants are awarded to states, and require private or public recipients to build moorings to accommodate boats at least 26 feet in length and to maintain the moorings for a minimum of 20 years. The 20-year commitment from completion of work is required even if the marina is sold, Keezer said.

The marina project was one of 18 to earn grants, and one of two to receive the maximum $1.5 million grant, along with a project in Owensboro, Kentucky, that improves dock access in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

In all, six projects received grants of more than $1 million in 2014; the smallest made was $113,000 for a dock replacement project in Tuckerton, New Jersey.

Annual Tier One BIG grants capped at $200,000 are made to individual states. The Tier Two grants are competitive, according to the agency’s website. Once permits are in place, Keezer said the recipients have six years to finish the project.

BIG grants are funded through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which, in turn, is funded through marine-related excise taxes.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The 220-slip marina planned beyond the former Portland Co. land at 58 Fore St. will be funded in part by a $1.5 million federal grant.Owners of the former Portland Co. complex at 58 Fore St. will match a $1.5 million federal grant to build a marina with $5.3 million, and expect it will cost more.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.