GOULDSBORO — Mike Pinkham, who knows the town’s six harbors, inlets, coves and inshore waters well, having worked in and around them in different capacities for years, was hired as the new harbormaster by the Gouldsboro Select Board in a 5-0 vote last Thursday night.
Pinkham will start the part-time job immediately once he is sworn in upon the town manager’s return from vacation.
Pinkham, who lives in Sullivan and serves as that town’s Select Board chairman, has served as both Gouldsboro and Steuben’s shellfish warden for seven years. He previously worked as a Maine Marine Patrol officer in Rockland, Machias and eastern Hancock County for 33 years before retiring in 2013. He will continue to work as the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ shellfish warden instructor. He succeeds Dana Rice Sr., who has served as harbormaster for 40-plus years.
As Gouldsboro’s shellfish warden, Pinkham and the Schoodic Institute’s Education Research Director Emeritus Bill Zoellick are engaged in an ongoing research project funded by the DMR and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Maine Coastal program. Their project has two goals. One is to scrutinize Gouldsboro’s 55-mile shoreline and propose ways to protect it from erosion and increasingly extreme weather. The other goal is to inventory and conserve public shorefront access in this predominantly commercial fishing community where waterfront properties have been changing hands much more frequently in recent years.
As Gouldsboro harbormaster, Pinkham will be paid $1,675 per month. He was one of two applicants for the part-time position. He already has been provided a truck for his shellfish work.
“He is experienced, qualified and has all the training that he needs,” summed up Rice, who made the motion to appoint Pinkham. “Michael is going to bring us into the 20th century.”
Coincidentally, the Select Board also voted 5-0 to join a grant project led by Rockland-based Island Institute to assist coastal towns in dealing with shore erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels, storm surges and heavier precipitation in coming years. Community Development Officer Abby Roche told the Select Board that an island fellow will work with Gouldsboro and the towns of Cranberry Isles and Swan’s Island to identify needs and apply for state funding to fulfill them.
Roche said she would work with the town to identify what action Gouldsboro already has taken to make its operations more energy-efficient and to prevent flooding of municipal infrastructure and other potential costly issues arising from climate change. To participate in the project, they had to draft a letter of support to work with the institute and the two other Hancock County communities.
In other business, the Select Board chairman advised West Bay Acadia RV Campground co-owner Robin Lawton to resubmit his permit application and sketch plan for a 60-foot-long ramp descending to the shorefront to the Planning Board via Gouldsboro’s interim Code Enforcement Officer, Millard Billings. Lawton’s application is in a regulatory holding pattern due to former code enforcement officer Jim McLean’s recent departure.
As part of old business, the Select Board voted 5-0 to award a $274,000 contract to Ring’s Paving to pave the last 2.6-mile stretch of the Paul Bunyan Road in Corea. The difference came down to Ring’s and Northeast Paving’s per-ton quote for asphalt. The highest bidder was Blacktop Asphalt’s $426,800 quote to do the job.
During the meeting, Rice noted the recent passing of Gouldsboro Point Road resident Bob Johnston, who used to frequent and engage as a citizen in Select Board meetings. The Select Board chairman acknowledged that he and Johnston had their differences, but that he came to regard “Bob as a valued member of this community, and I came to respect him immensely.”