Bristol acquired the former Riverview Market property Jan. 21 as a result of unpaid taxes; now, the town has agreed to return the property to the previous owners for slightly over $10,000 in taxes, interest and fees.
The First holds a mortgage interest in the property at 571 Harrington Rd., Town Administrator Kristine Poland said. The bank, unaware of Bristol’s acquisition of the property, set a date to sell the property at auction before town officials intervened.
The Bristol Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to sell the property back to the previous owners at its May 11 meeting.
Jason and Nathan Lord, with another partner, are working with the Working Waterfront Access Pilot Program, a joint effort of the Dept. of Marine Resources and Land for Maine’s Future.
The partners hope to enter into a deed covenant requiring the perpetual use of the dock and property for commercial fisheries activities. The covenant allows compatible recreational use as long as commercial activities account for at least half of the dock’s use.
The selectmen agreed to draft a letter of support for review at their next meeting.
Nathan Lord said the partners were motivated, in part, by losses of working waterfront – specifically, by the recent sales of three commercial docks in New Harbor and Back Cove.
According to the program website, its goal is to “preserve and protect key properties on the coast that provide access to and support commercial fisheries activities.”
The agencies will purchase a “working waterfront covenant, a legally binding deed restriction” from the property owners.
The covenant also gives the state a “right of first refusal” if the owners choose to sell the property.
Laurie Herron of Damariscotta’s Royal River Graphics built the town’s original website and is also responsible for the recent facelift, town employee Heather Houston said.
Houston said the new site introduces a cleaner design and allows town staff to easily add or edit content.
The site includes tax maps, previously unavailable online.