Harbor building ready to roll

BAR HARBOR — The town’s new, $640,000 port security building at the municipal pier is nearly completed, with officials expected to begin moving in next week.

The building will house a new harbormaster’s office and offices for Police Chief Nate Young and Sergeant David Kerns, Chief Young said Monday.

The port security building was funded largely by a 2009 grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which came as part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program. The town will be on the hook for a 25 percent match, at least $127,000, which will come out of cruise ship fees.

Carla Haskell and her Design Group Collaborative were architects on the project. E.L.Shea is the general contractor.

Chief Young said that his department will address some of their well-documented space needs by his setting up shop in the port security building as either a permanent or temporary measure. He said Monday that he and Sgt. Kerns will start their days at the police station before heading down to the harbor.

Lieutenant James Pinkham and Sgt. Shaun Farrar will take over Chief Young’s office in the police station, he said. The department this year plans to eliminate one of two sergeant positions and add a second lieutenant to the roster.

The port security building will sport radar and video monitoring equipment. Video feeds currently available at the public safety dispatch office, including those from the village green, the ball field, the harbor and other locations, will be available for viewing at the port building.

The two-story, 1,800-square-foot structure will afford panoramic harbor views and a conference area, two features that Harbormaster Charlie Phippen has been without in his one room, one story office next door.

Due to the history here of an international ferry service as well as cruise ship visits which now average more than 100 per year, Bar Harbor maintains a federal designation as a Class A port of entry. The status is held by 327 ports in the United States; 16 of them are located in Maine.

Since 2008, Bar Harbor has received more than $1 million from the DHS for safety and emergency preparedness upgrades. Purchases from the funding, which often have required a 25 percent match, have included a patrol boat, a new air pack system for firefighters, a mass-casualty emergency trailer, and a new radio system for law enforcement and emergency responders including in-vehicle laptops and communications tower upgrades.

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