The future for Moosehead will be?

Posted: 24/09/2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,
Seems to be quite a bit of interest in the post I made regarding the Showdown at Plum Creek, in fact I even got some from Europe. Just goes to show that the interest is global in this issue, and we’ve got people lined up to begin making plans for the new crowd of eco-tourists they’d like to invite. I believe that we are going to see at least three more, possibly four mega developments take fruition in the first year following the granting of approval for this project. I have nothing firm to share my opinions on, but I do keep tabs on several market sectors. We already know about one of them, and that’s Bruno Modena from Italy. Unfortunately for Modena and company, the project abuts Acadia National Park, so it’s going to draw a lot of criticism and attention on a global basis.

Modena seems OK, although I know little of him. An interesting side bar is an AP article that claims Mr. Modena was contacted, and he denied having anything to do with the project. I’d like to hear his side of the story before I make a decision on that. But the core issues, no matter who is involved are the same, no matter where in the state we are talking about. Another possible area of development is also in Down East Maine. And then there is the Irving Family of Canada. After the senior Irving died last year there were rumors floating around that they were going to stop harvesting timber from their Maine holdings and develop the properties. I haven’t heard anything more than that for certain, but you never know.

But like I said, the core issues are the same, and nobody seems to be addressing them in the way that they should be addressed. Let’s use the round number of 1000 homes for the Plum Creek development. And then the Schoodic proposal will add another 1000 homes to the state. Think about this point and how it all relates to Maine’s future; infrastructure. Where’s the discussion concerning infrastructure? That’s 2000 homes to be added to the state, and each of those 1000 groupings of homes are going to be built in places that have no meaningful year round employment opportunities to speak of. You know what that means? It means that those homes are going to be marketed to people from away, not Mainers. That’s a lot of traveling back and forth for those people. Think of the increased pollution levels from all of those cars.

Jobs have been promised. What jobs? Another Blue Mecca in the form of a Wal-mart? Construction has been suggested, but what about after the homes are finished? And suppose the economy tanks even further, and none of the proposed construction takes place? And for those who claim that the shopping centers won’t be built if the proposal doesn’t go through, think again. The demographics of the area suggest that the treasured Wal-mart will be building in Greenville, probably within two to three years anyways, even if the proposal isn’t approved. That’ll mean at least a couple of hundred fifteen hour a week jobs at not much above state minimum wages. Whoopee!

But the infrastructure is the part I have the hardest time with. We’re talking new roads, new power distribution systems, water and sewer, hospitals and emergency services such as fire and rescue, police and so forth. Who’s going to pay for all of that? Don’t forget the plowing of all of these roads in the winter. And the sanding and salting. Repairing the roads in the summer. And speaking of water, how will all of these homes impact upon the aquifer? Remember a couple of decades ago when the Maine Mall was built? It was a great opportunity and produced a lot of income, both in wages and taxation, but look what else came of it. Long Creek in South Portland is one of the most heavily damaged watersheds along the eastern Seaboard. For all the taxes it’s raised over the years, just to develop the WMP, or Watershed Management Plan, it will cost South Portland nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Never mind the cost of actual remediation of the problem. Has anybody taken that potential into account? How are the taxpayers of Greenville going to pay for future needs when items like that crop up? Will it be left to the taxpayers of the state of Maine?

There’s a lot of politicking going on behind our backs, as I’ve mentioned, and we need to get around that somehow and be more transparent in these proposal procedures. What can we expect from Plum Creek and TNC years down the road after all of this is said and done, and the unexpected happens? Plum Creek will be grazing on newer ground by then, and may not even exist as they do today. I hear Vermont’s next on their list of developments by the way. Whether the development in Greenville takes place or not, we need to stop and take a look at the future possibilities of all of these proposals. It may be fine to get a rush of employment and new taxes today, but what’s the ultimate cost going to be?

I don’t see anybody providing an answer to that question, and truthfully, that should be issue number one with the LURC in their deliberations. Who’s going to pay for future problems, and what may those problems be? We taxpayers are paying for the LURC to exist, we deserve at least that much from them.

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