2007 April 13
by Edward French
By a 2-1 margin, Passamaquoddy tribal members have approved selling a 308-acre parcel in Perry owned by the tribe to Quoddy Bay LNG for $1.56 million, or $5,000 an acre. In a March 21 referendum, Pleasant Point voters approved the sale by a vote of 137 to 72. At Indian Township, the vote was 120 to 54, for a total of 257 in favor to 126 opposed. A total of 383 votes were cast.
The land, formerly owned by the Dore family, is located near the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks and would be used as a storage and staging area during the construction of the proposed LNG terminal at Split Rock. The property extends from the Old Eastport Road to the Cannon Hill Road and west toward East Bay.
Some tribal members have been concerned about the tribe selling off its land and resources and also believe that the land is worth more to the tribe than the $1.56 million. Reportedly the land has a significant amount of rock that could be turned into aggregate, or crushed stone used in construction, although Quoddy Bay LNG is not interested in removing any aggregate from the property.
Concerning the vote, Pleasant Point tribal councillor Hilda Lewis comments, "Everything happened so quickly, people didn't have to time to absorb it." She adds, "I do feel that we should have given our tribal members information on all aspects, not just that it's a big money-maker."
The proposal was brought up to the Sipayik Tribal Council in November and first considered by the Passamaquoddy Joint Tribal Council in December.
Quoddy Bay LNG has also obtained an option to purchase a 30-acre parcel at the corner of Route 1 and Route 190 as a site for temporary lodging for construction workers. During the three-year construction period, an average of 735 workers would be needed, according to Quoddy Bay.
© 2007 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.