Letter to the editor: Lawrence Reichard

The whole thing stinks

Sat, 07/17/2021 - 9:30am

The Bangor Daily News and The Free Press recently reported that Nordic Aquafarms had purchased the Belfast waterfront property of Janet and Richard Eckrote, and had given the property to the City of Belfast in exchange for an easement to lay its saltwater intake and effluent discharge pipes through the intertidal portion of the property.

But it is far from certain the Eckrotes have ever owned that intertidal land. Ownership of the intertidal land is currently before Waldo County Superior Court and a Nordic/Eckrote victory is far from certain.

Belfast Mayor Eric Sanders said the deal would create a "tremendous oceanfront park," but if the deal is so tremendous, why was it consummated in the dark, in a secretive July 8 "executive session" City Council meeting? 

With Nordic dumping into the park's waters some 7.7 million gallons of effluent a day - with a dispersion time of two weeks - park guests can look forward to frolicking in 107.8 million gallons of Nordic's effluent discharge.

Meanwhile, The Free Press reports that as of July 12, the Waldo County Registry of Deeds has no record of any sale of the Eckrote property. This is likely because Nordic's purchase of the property is contingent on the property actually including the intertidal flats, either by court decision or City of Belfast assertion of eminent domain. 

But Maine law bars the use of eminent domain for private purposes. In other words, this has nothing to do with Nordic giving Belfast a park and everything to do with subverting Maine law and Maine courts, and with taking the land of longtime Belfast residents Judith Grace and Jeffrey Mabee and giving it to a big, polluting corporation from 3,000 miles away.

The whole thing stinks, and if it ever goes through, I suggest Belfast Mayor Eric Sanders name his tremendous playground Effluent Park.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast