PORTLAND (AP) – A federal judge has adopted a magistrate’s recommendation that ownership of a 107-year-old lighthouse on the Kennebec River revert to the federal government.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby’s decision apparently ends a legal battle over Squirrel Point Light in Arrowsic.

Yarmouth real estate developer Michael Trenholm and his Squirrel Point Associates had been given the lighthouse for free in 1998 as part of the government’s efforts to turn such properties over to private entities.

The nonprofit group Citizens for Squirrel Point went to court last summer, contending that Squirrel Point Associates failed to restore the lighthouse to historic preservation standards or use it for the benefit of the public.

The deed given to Squirrel Point Associates required the 4.5-acre site be used for educational, historic, recreational, cultural and wildlife conservation programs for the general public. Trenholm twice put the property up for sale, asking as much as $500,000.

“Unless the other side appeals, this is final,” Scott Boak, attorney for Citizens for Squirrel Point, said of Hornby’s decision.

Trenholm’s lawyer, Ralph Dyer, said his client “probably won’t” appeal.

“This was something Mr. Trenholm really wanted,” Dyer said this morning. “He invested a lot into it and basically ran out of gas.”

Hornby adoptede the recommended decision issued last month by U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cohen.



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