Lane: I guess it’s time I step forward to rent some place for a battle of the bands to decide if Windham should expand the area around the Windham Skate Park into a community park. It should be an interesting affair to hear and watch as Tony’s Cronies takes on Slashes Taxes. Of course, that is all in fun but what you read next might make you believe you will participate in the next American Revolution, which in my best guess is about in 30 to 40 years. I am tired of various departments in the Town of Windham continuing to spend money on study after study while our services have deteriorated under our present town manager.

A prime example is the proposal to build an expanded park next to the Windham Skate Park and I personally believe it’s time for a new director of Windham Parks and Recreation Department along with a new town manager because of overspending of tax dollars. First and foremost, this Park of Pipedreams wasn’t the result of a majority of taxpayers of Windham voting on such a project but rather a miniscule group influencing the director of Parks and Rec. Less than three dozen is not a supermajority by any means.

I know that at least two, if not three, studies have been done by an engineering firm that has cost us a small fortune. The rebuttal to that would be this was paid for by impact fees on developers creating subdivisions but that, too, is a form of taxation which ultimately home buyers pay for.

Just to let you know, the money collected from impact fees apparently does not have to have the approval of the town council to be utilized for someone’s pipe dreams.

Here’s your next heart attack. I reviewed the cost analysis of constructing a community park on Route 202 next to the Windham Skate Park and here are the shocking financial figures. The total cost of preparing the area is $536,209. Some of the costs include $242,432 for earthwork, $26,000 for asphalt and concrete, $12,000 for Windham’s favorite granite curbing, utility installation costing $184,000, site improvements of $86,815, landscape work of $88,912 and some smaller miscellaneous costs. It seems that the monster has finally been let out of the closet.

To be fair, the costs of the proposed park might come from several sources to include impact fees, grants, private donations and community fundraisers along with tax dollars if necessary. These seem reasonable. But, with Maine’s staggering amount of nonprofit agencies fighting over donations, building a community park with donations might fail just as the well-meaning attempt to purchase the Parson Smith House or collapse of the Portland YMCA because of a lack of donations.

What is amazing is that the Windham Town Council packet for this workshop included pictures of a park in Scarborough. Is Windham going to try to keep up with the Joneses?

As a side issue with this proposed park, I have to ask a very pertinent question. Why hasn’t the Windham Town Manager hired a planning official with a degree in engineering? It would have saved a fortune for all the studies that Windham taxpayers paid for over time which means the position would have paid for itself!

Windham has hired a planning and assistant planning officer along with a secretary (I have heard) while citizens are still waiting to find out if they will ever have a transfer station, bulky waste pickup and a leaf/brush pile. I will state that I am not impressed by either the town manager’s selection of candidates nor their qualifications for their positions along with their impressive salaries and benefits.

Lane and Tommy, of Windham, are still waiting for answers to their questions about how the sewer pipe extension will be paid for and who negotiated the deal with the developer at the Keddy Mill site. They are proposing a new community TV show called Deal or Steal to showcase both the school and municipal budgets of Windham in detail and language that all can understand. That is because they cannot understand how the Windham School Department budget was bare-bones and suddenly two weeks later had a $500,000 surplus.


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