PORTLAND (AP) – A Kennebunk teenager who set an Arundel boatyard fire that destroyed an engine belonging to former President George Bush will apparently get to serve out the remainder of his sentence in Maine.

A pending agreement involving the Maine Department of Corrections and the federal Bureau of Prisons would enable Patrick Vorce, 16, to stay at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

The state has already signed off on the agreement, which allows for long-term detention of federal juvenile inmates in Maine, and says federal approval should be forthcoming.

“We’ve signed it and we’ve sent it back to the (Bureau of Prisons) for their signature,” said Denise Lord, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections. The agreement would be effective July 1.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons could not be reached immediately for comment.

Vorce’s mother, Denise Collier, said her family is excited at the prospect of their son remaining at Long Creek, where he was transferred two months ago from a juvenile facility in Pennsylvania. Collier and his lawyer said that prison was dangerous, lacked a rehabilitation program and was too far from his family.

Vorce and a 19-year-old friend were convicted of setting fire to Southern Maine Marine Services in Arundel in July 2002.

Vorce was 14 at the time of the crime, which caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and destroyed property belonging to the Secret Service. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison, 27 months of probation and restitution.

He was transferred back to Maine this spring for an appeal hearing in federal court in Portland, in which his lawyer argued that he was not receiving the rehabilitation required by federal law. As a result of that hearing, Vorce’s sentence was reduced by six months, pending further review by an appeals court.

Robert Mongue, Vorce’s stepfather and his lawyer, cautioned that the agreement is not valid until the Bureau of Prisons signs it too. “I’m hopeful but I can’t say I’m expectant,” Mongue said.

The Bureau of Prisons, which has only about 250 juvenile inmates nationwide, doesn’t operate its own juvenile facilities. Mongue said the government currently contracts with six states to house youthful offenders: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon and California. If the agreement is completed, Maine will become the seventh state with such a contract.

Collier and Mongue have charged that the Bush connection caused her son’s case to end up in federal court, a claim that federal official deny.

AP-ES-06-22-04 0836EDT

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