Wednesday night at the Searsport Planning Board public hearings DCP mega-tank application we heard the presentation of Nancy Fannon who conducted an economic impact report. Attorneys for TBNT Steve Hinchman and for Angler’s Restaurant, Ed Bearor shredded her presentation and methodology. Among the shortcomings illustrated by cross examination was a basic lack of a fact check on any information provided to her by town officials. As an example, in her report she cites the economic base of Searsport as small boat building and industrial businesses. Later, Nancy Fannon did admit there would be a negative effect on property value which she could not easily quantify and a negative effect of tourism. Her report can be read on the TBNT.org website under the document’s page. Additionally, the introduction of the Angler’s Restaurant and Bait’s motel appraisal into the record is enormously beneficial to all. This really was one of the highlights tonight: this project will do unbearable and unreasonable harm to both these businesses.
Three more excellent points were made on cross examination of DCP Midstream safety and project management personnel (1) why are there no “exclusion zone” around the tank similar to LPG tanker vessels ; (2) DCP admitted in the last year there has only been ONE tanker to deliver LPG to their facility in Chesapeake, VA and (3) one of the only other rural LPG facilities that DCP operates is in Berlin, VT with total storage capacity of just 90,000 gallons. This is in stark contrast with their plans for Searsport.
We did witness an ugly response tonight of police action. The removal from the audience of a TBNT member engaged in a conversation with me from the audience was completely uncalled for and the actions of an overzealous officer. We truly hope it is the first and last time we witness this. We have spoken to the police chief and asked him in no uncertain terms for assurances for Chairman Probert to run the hearings. There was no disturbing the testimony or disrupting the proceedings in any way until the police officer took it upon himself to respond in a completely uncalled for action. After this, we witnessed a massive walkout by the audience. What the member was objecting to and what we have made a point to object to is the Searsport Planning Board’s consultant answering questions on DCP’s behalf. This is wrong and should not continue.
Thursday will be TBNT’s and Islesboro Islands Trust‘s night to make our case. We anticipate having several panels of residents and business owners, including panels on property values, business owners, retirees, natural resources, safety and IIT among others. Please come to show your support for our cause. We ask that keep the tone respectful on all nights.
Friday will be devoted to DCP’s clarification of their facility as the planning board was not entirely satisfied with their slideshow last night. It will then open up to public comment. All meeting start at 6:00 pm. Thank you for coming, especially those dedicated who we have seen all week. There are still spaces to fill, so if you have not come and witnessed, it is your time. Thanks for reading we realize there is a lot happening this week and need to communicate.