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2003 January  April   August


AUGUST, 2003

We have seen many successes at the Cranberry Connector since our last quarterly report.  The parking lot is paved and individual parking spaces are marked and numbered.  To date we have rented 106 spaces.  We have a fourth float built and in the water, although not attached to the outside third float.  This float will be connected to the third float by a ramp.  The Army Corps of Engineers has approved the addition of the fourth float to our dock and float system on the Manset shore.

Hinckley Real Estate occupies our building on Mansell Lane.  We have a lease with them for 5 years, renewable in a series of 5 one year leases.  We are drawing up a lease with Hank Hinckley, who occupies one of the workshops on our property adjacent to the parking lot.  This lease will also be for 5 years, renewable in a series of 5 one year leases.

We have other spaces available for rent as well.  The facility is paid for by the sale of bonds.  Some of the bonds are tax-free and others are not tax-free.  We have much more freedom to rent the areas paid for by taxable bonds.  That includes the Hinckley Real Estate Building and Hank Hinckley's work shop.  In addition to the spaces now rented we have two more spaces available to rent.  One work area is 720 square feet while another work area is 1480 square feet.  These two areas are paid for with taxable bonds.  If we find suitable tenants we anticipate additional income of approximately $8500 per year.

The original Jarvis Newman Boat Shop Building is paid for with tax-free bonds.  The restrictions are much more confining.  We can not enter into long-term leases with this property.  At present we are looking at other alternatives for usage of the building.

We currently receive approximately $70,500 a year income from the parking lot and leases.  Expenses include paying a caretaker, insurance, general maintenance and taxes each year.  We are still working on that final figure.

On April 4, 2003 by a vote of 34-2, those in attendance at a special town meeting voted to purchase the remaining property owned by Singh and located adjacent to our facility -- the so-called Brown House.  By doing this we removed all the onerous restrictions he had placed upon the parking lot property.  The price was $795,000.  The vote at the special town meeting dictated that the Board of Selectmen sell the house, after purchasing it.  Presently the house is in the process of being listed for sale by Knowles Real Estate of Northeast Harbor, ME.

On July 10, 2003 the Land Management Commission, the Board of Selectmen and interested people from the community met at the Islesford Neighborhood House in a 7-hour meeting to plan for the future of the Manset facility.  The meeting was moderated/facilitated by Ron Beard of the university of Maine Cooperative Extension.  Jim Connors from the Maine State Planning Office attended, as did Mike Bush from the Eastern Maine Development Corporation and David Hill from Coastal Enterprises Inc.  After much discussion concerning our facility and its management plan we arrived at a few conclusions and decided to take definite action to better manage the facility.

With the guidance of Ron Beard and the input of Jim Connors, Mike Bush and David Hill, those in attendance generally agreed that we need a business plan for the facility.  Between now and the annual Town Meeting in March a new business plan will be created by people interested in better management of the facility.  This advisory board will be a new, improved and streamlined group with fewer members.  Their task will be to advise the Board of Selectmen in chosing, hiring and supervising a facility mamager.  Thier task will include creating a job description for a part-time facilities manager for the Cranberry Connector.  The LMC as currently constitutted will clean up current details, develop parking space allotment for next year, implement the 2004 parking list and then go out of business.  All recommendations made by the advisory board are only recommendations.  Final approval will be decided at our annual town meeting in March of 2004.

We continue to struggle in some areas of management of the facility.  We finally have three gardenway carts available.  We continue to work on landscaping and lighting for the area as well as signs for the facility, dock and floats.  Benches are being discussed and plans for their installation are being developed.  Phil Whitney has resigned as Chairman of the LMC.  Owen Roberts has resigned as a member of the LMC.

The members of the Land Management Commission wish to thank you for patience and understanding.  The devil has indeed been in the details of this project.  Please feel free to offer any suggestion for improvement in our facility.

Thank you,
David Thomas
Eve Harrison
co-chairs LMC

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