ROCKPORT — Three weeks after the town's Tool Company Task Force report was presented to Rockport selectmen, the Task Force members and the selectmen will hold a public hearing to discuss the town's next steps in dealing with the long-dormant property on the Pigeon Cove waterfront.
The hearing, set for the Community House at 7 p.m. Wednesday, is meant to answer questions about the report and to solicit opinions from Rockporters as to what they think about any recommendations.
"We want to have as many people come as possible," said Task Force member Wally Hess.
Though the task force members will summarize the report at the beginning of the meeting, Hess said he encourages everyone to read the report beforehand so that each person knows what questions he or she wants answered.
The report is available on the town website, as well as at the Town Hall and the library. The report is listed under the selectmen's page, under the file marked "reports."
The report advocates that the town essentially take no action regarding the Tool Company site — at least until November, when the permits the current owner holds begin to expire.
The site is privately owned, but has been considered a public eyesore for many years. The current owner, Christopher Kaneb of Old Colony Maritime LLC, has listed the site for sale for $2.9 million.
Old Colony Maritime LLC was issued permits to build a mixed-use site predominantly geared toward a condominium complex, but a lawsuit led by Cape Ann activist Stevan Goldin held up the construction. By the time the suit was dismissed, the economy had essentially collapsed, driving down real estate values and making further investments in the site less attractive for the site's owners.
Residents at Rockport's Fall Town Meeting voted in September to study what the town ought to do about the site.
The task force studied the possibility of the town using eminent domain to force the owners to sell, the town buying the property, the town condemning the buildings, or simply working with the owners to find a new buyer for the site.
"After looking at all the alternatives," Hess said, "the only one that makes sense is to wait."
The meeting is one of three significant sessions competing for residents — with all the slated for 7 p.m.
The Conservation Commission is also meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall's conference Room A, and will be discussing granting a permit to allow Roma III LTD to build a single family home near the costal bank on Granite Street, among other hearings.
The School Committee, meanwhile, is also meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Middle/High School library to announce the names of the finalists seeking to become Rockport's next superintendent of schools.
Stephanie Bergman can contacted at 978-283-7000 x3451 or email@example.com