2017-03-03 / Front Page

Wharf work warranted



Government Wharf in Kennebunkport will be rebuilt in December by Maritime Construction and Engineering of Eliot as part of a $718,00 project, about $284,000 of which will be covered by the state. At their Feb. 10 meeting, selectmen awarded the bid and, with a state OK, made some changes to the project, which came in above the $650,000 estimate given by the town’s engineering firm, Baker Design Consultants. Although a sign on the wharf’s bait shed dates it to 1821, that appears to be apocryphal. According to local historian Sharon Lichter Cummins, “In 1834, the federal government purchased a portion of Stephen Harding’s ferry grant, just upstream from the mouth of the Kennebunk River, for the purpose of building a wharf to provide security to vessels detained by tide and storms. The present Government Wharf and shed were built in the early 20th century for commercial fishermen.” According to Chris Welch, chairman of the government wharf committee, the site, owned by the town and operated by a group of 35 member fishermen, is the last bit of commercial working waterfront on Kennebunkport’s side of the river. The project will be done with money previously set aside by the town, creating no impact on future mil rates. (Duke Harrington photo) Government Wharf in Kennebunkport will be rebuilt in December by Maritime Construction and Engineering of Eliot as part of a $718,00 project, about $284,000 of which will be covered by the state. At their Feb. 10 meeting, selectmen awarded the bid and, with a state OK, made some changes to the project, which came in above the $650,000 estimate given by the town’s engineering firm, Baker Design Consultants. Although a sign on the wharf’s bait shed dates it to 1821, that appears to be apocryphal. According to local historian Sharon Lichter Cummins, “In 1834, the federal government purchased a portion of Stephen Harding’s ferry grant, just upstream from the mouth of the Kennebunk River, for the purpose of building a wharf to provide security to vessels detained by tide and storms. The present Government Wharf and shed were built in the early 20th century for commercial fishermen.” According to Chris Welch, chairman of the government wharf committee, the site, owned by the town and operated by a group of 35 member fishermen, is the last bit of commercial working waterfront on Kennebunkport’s side of the river. The project will be done with money previously set aside by the town, creating no impact on future mil rates. (Duke Harrington photo)

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