St. George voters agree to contribute $25,000 toward purchase of island

Posted May 12, 2014, at 9:34 p.m.

ST. GEORGE, Maine — Town residents gave support Monday to contributing $25,000 toward the purchase of a 20-acre island located off Tenants Harbor.

The results from Monday’s referendum showed 214 people in favor of the town’s contribution and 176 were opposed.

The St. George Select Board voted 4-1 earlier this year against recommending that residents approve the expenditure.

High Island is owned by High Island Trust, which consists of the Wentworth family that has owned it since the 1940s. The Wentworth sisters no longer feel they can afford to own the island, according to information provided by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

The state’s largest land trust is offering to buy the island for $650,000 and has a purchase-and-sales agreement.

The land trust contends that the creation of an island park, easily accessible from the Tenants Harbor public landing, would provide a place for public hiking, camping and picnics.

The land trust is raising money for the purchase, including seeking a matching grant from the state’s Land for Maine’s Future program. Those grants require a dollar for dollar match. The land trust has several years to raise the money.

The town’s contribution would go toward that match.

There was no contested race for two Select Board seats. Wayne Sawyer and Richard Bates were elected to the post.

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