Warrant Subcommittees Delve Into Parking Fees

School Reorganization Meeting Tonight, Acadia Fees Increase, COLA increases in town budget

Carrie Jones

BAR HARBOR—The Warrant Committee’s subcommittee for public safety met on the third floor of the Bar Harbor Municipal Building. It was the first of three subcommittee meetings this week before the Warrant Committee meets as a whole tonight. Another subcommittee met last week.

The committee that consists of Vice Chair Julie Berberian, Kevin DesVeaux, Secretary Chris Smith, and Eben Salvatore smoothly went over public safety, parking, and harbor sections concerning recommendations about the revenue lines, expense lines, and capital improvement programs of each portion of the budget that the town council sent to town warrant during its March 21 meeting. Bar Harbor’s voters approve or tweak the budget in June.

At the Warrant Committee’s upcoming meeting tonight, members will look at the recommendations of the subcommittee and possibly make recommendations or tweaks of their own. Voters will see both town council and warrant committee’s support (or lack of support) on the ballot.

Warrant Subcommittee, from left, Salvatore, DesVeaux, Smith, and Berberian. Image: Carrie Jones

During the subcommittee meeting, member Eben Salvatore asked about inflation and cost of living (COLA) increases that were set across the board in the entire budget at 6%, wondering how that number was tied to inflation, what would happen if inflation decreased, if that was meant to be a standard yearly increase at that same 6% and if the union contracts are tied to inflation.

Interim Town Manager and Finance Director Sarah Gilbert explained in an email on Tuesday, “All nonunion employees are slated for 6% increase, and department managers 8.7%. Some line items may have longevity built in or increases due to obtaining certain job specific licenses…So, line items may not reflect the 6%.”

The fire department specifically, will receive a 4.75% increase in FY24 and 4.5% in FY25.  In the FY23 budget, the department updated its work/paid schedule from 112 hours biweekly to 84 hours biweekly, which Gilbert said is what other departments in Maine are moving to.

The Public Works union contract uses the Social Security COLA released in December of the prior year, for a minimum of 2% and maximum of 6%. It’s the same metric in FY25.

Salvatore also brought up his position on the Bar Harbor Chamber’s Board of Directors because one of the items in the budget section that the committee was looking at was wayfinding funds. Those funds are paid by the town to the chamber so that its employees can help cruise ship passengers and other tourists find their way around town. The chamber had requested an additional $17,000 this year. The council did not put that request in the budget.

Salvatore was found to have a conflict of interest (2-1, Berberian and Smith in favor, DesVeaux against) and was not involved in the vote for that specific line item (line 5358). All other votes in the night were unanimous.

There was also discussion around the parking fees and revenue. Due to a potential increase of $4 intown and $2 in the outer areas,  the projected revenue from parking fees in FY2024 is $3 million. The most gathered in the past was around $2 million.


ANP just past Ledgelawn Extension’s end. Image: Carrie Jones

This weekend the fees for a weekly park pass for Acadia National Park increase from $30 to $35 per vehicle; $30 for motorcyclists; and $20 for cyclists and pedestrians. This is an increase of $5.

Annual passes have increased by $15 to $70.

Much of the entrance fee revenue funds the Island Explorer busses.

Cadillac Summit Road will be closed to all use through mid-May due to construction.

Effective March 1, areas including Jordan Cliffs Trail, Precipice Trail, and Valley Cove Trail are closed to protect peregrine falcons from human disturbance or harassment during an annual nesting period.

The park entrance fees are waived April 22, Aug. 4, Sept. 23 and Nov. 11. Visitors under 16 do not need a pass.


There is a school reorganization workshop tonight at 5 p.m. Information about the potential reorganization is here.

The workshop can also be viewed live on YouTube here.


The MDI Education Association (MDIEA) invited teachers and staff to “be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” for the Hancock County SPCA on March 17, the AOS 91 professional development day.

Encouraged to bring their spare change, staff filled a pot with $173 on St. Patrick’s Day. The association thanks the staff members for their support and participation. The MDIEA is comprised of teachers and staff from Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Trenton, and MDI High School.


Maine Coastal Flight Center at the Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport welcomed Kevin “Jed” Fister as a full time Flight Instructor to its team. Maine Coastal Flight offers lessons to those interested in obtaining a pilot’s certificate and other ratings. With recent demand in the area, having Jed on staff will allow the center to take on new students. 

Maine Coastal Flight has also added a Cessna 150 into its fleet to offer a more economical option to our students. The Cessna 150 is a two-seat training airplane that will be available for flight instruction. 

It also offers introductory flight lessons. With spring approaching, Maine Coastal Flight experiences an increase in demand, and recommends calling early to hear about our availability for a 2023 opening. Maine Coastal Flight is reachable at (207) 664-6000. 

Fister is also available for pre-season Scenic Flights. Scenic Flights of Acadia – (207)667-6527.


The YWCA MDI has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Bloomin’ 4 Good Program for the month of April.

The Y was selected by local store leadership at the Hannaford located in Bar Harbor. The YWCA will receive a $1 donation for every Bloomin’ 4 Good bouquet with the red circle sticker purchased at this Hannaford location in April.

“Flowers can make someone’s day, brighten a room or spread a smile,” said Jackie Davidson, executive director of YWCA. “Now they can give back to our local communities, too. Purchase a Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquet at the Bar Harbor Hannaford in April to help our organization meet our mission. ”


Tonight’s Warrant Committee will be streamed live here and you can go in person at the Bar Harbor Municipal Building on Cottage Street.


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