WISCASSET — The Maine Department of Transportation filed documents this month with the Lincoln County Commissioner announcing its intent to acquire the “Haggets Garage” property on Water Street by eminent domain as part of a proposed project to ease traffic flow on Route 1.
The acquisition of the building at 36 Water St. will provide space for a parking lot as part of the potential Route 1 project that MDOT has been working on for over a year. The plan – which includes eliminating parking spaces on Main Street, installing traffic lights and crosswalks, and other changes – has been heavily opposed by some residents.
The building acquisition is also opposed by its current tenants: Midcoast Conservancy. A letter sent by the conservancy to MDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt indicates the nonprofit would prefer to keep the building intact and continue using it.
“We believe that there’s an opportunity to include that building in the plans. We would like to sit down and have a conversation with open minds to discuss what that might look like,” said Jody Jones, executive director of Midcoast Conservancy.
The conservancy is renting the building from Coastal Enterprises Inc, and has exercised an option to purchase the property with a closing date of April 30.
MDOT spokesman Ted Talbot said the eminent domain filing was mainly an effort to prevent the conservancy from investing in the property. MDOT and CEI have agreed on…
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