“I think it is important for us to add our voice to this issue because Searsport is not just a Searsport issue,” said Councilor Joe Baldacci. “This is a regional economic issue. It’s going to affect the economies of cities and towns throughout Maine in terms of the movement of goods and services.
The article appeared in the BDN by Dawn Gagnon. Click here for the entire article. This is a section of it:
BANGOR, Maine — City councilors have formally pledged Bangor’s support for a plan to conduct a dredging project in Searsport harbor that aims to improve access for today’s bigger ships.
A resolve to that end was adopted in an 8-1 vote during Monday night’s council meeting, with Chairman Ben Sprague and councilors Joe Baldacci, Pauline Civiello, Nelson Durgin, James Gallant, Gibran Graham, David Nealley and Josh Plourde in favor and Councilor Patricia Blanchette opposed.
Gallant said he had expressed his concern about the resolve during previous meetings but decided to support it after receiving information about the level of bulk and liquid tonnage handled in Penobscot Bay from Bob Ziegelaar, president of MainXPO Inc., a company that helps its clients develop business opportunities outside their traditional markets.
“And I wanted to know because these numbers are pretty staggering, actually, and with the [dredging], I’m sure the numbers would go even higher,” he said.
Gallant said that the yearly totals for bulk freight were 150,782 tons and 1,487,760 tons for liquid bulk. In addition, 2.161 million barrels of petroleum come out of Searsport, he said.
“That’s a lot of movement, really, for what is a midrange port or a lower-range port,” he said. “I wanted to know those numbers to figure out the economic impact that that port has and I think, with speaking to other individuals as far as making sure that the fishermen were protected, I actually with this economic impact information will be supporting the resolve.”