Deed issue dooms Portland pier plans

Months after the plans for the Maine State Pier in Portland were supposed to have been set, it has fallen through.  The problem is ownership of the ocean floor beneath the pier, and who actually owns it.

City officials and a spokesman for the developer confirmed Wednesday night that negotiations broke down after the state asserted its rights to ownership of the sea floor beneath the pier.

The city has consistently maintained that it owns the ocean floor beneath the pier, based on a deed it was granted by the Maine Department of Transportation in the 1980s for a Bath Iron Works project in Portland.

In a letter dated Oct. 14, Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe said, “After reviewing the history of the Bath Iron Works project in Portland, we do not believe the facts support a stipulation that the city has clear and complete title to these submerged lands.”

Press Herald

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