ELLSWORTH — Nearly three miles of Branch Lake shorefront will be protected from development if a deal that the City Council approved in a split vote Monday goes through.
The council, by a vote of 4-2 with one recusal, approved an agreement to purchase 425 acres of land and to purchase the development rights to another 771 acres from the Fenn Family Trust.
The total cost of the project is $2.6 million, of which Ellsworth would pay $1.5 million. The Land for Maine’s Future grant program has given $640,000 for the project. The city is seeking grants for $460,000.
City Manager Michelle Beal said it isn’t known yet where the city would get the $1.5 million to fund the purchase.
The councilors who voted for the project include Gary Fortier, Stephen Beathem, Pamela Perkins and Matthew Boucher.
Opposed were Jon Mahon and John Moore, and John Phillips recused himself Council Chairman John Phillips recused himself because he had previously sold an easement across property he and his wife, Jane, own for an access road to the Fenn Family Trust land.
For more political news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.