Put the brakes on

Our river at a critical juncture (July 23 American Journal) – yes, it is certainly at a critical juncture, Actually it is not a junction, but an intersection with competing interests. Those are on collision courses that will result in nothing more than misspent resources on fantasies of things that will not produce significant benefits for the citizens of our city versus the associated costs .

The entire scheme of things is dependent on a private company deciding how much revenue it is willing to spend for generating electricity. Ever think about what if Sappi decided it didn’t want the dams and went with windmills off of Warren Avenue and government subsidies? No power plant, no ladders for fish.

Dam removal then becomes a public matter, which means a matter for taxpayers. There is absolutely no way to determine what a re-established fishery will do or cause to happen economically. Sorry, folks, but for the true fisherman the Presumpscot isn’t going to match Grand Lake Stream in our lifetime.

There is no way to determine what recreation will do for us versus the costs. I hope hoards of kayakers come, too, and shop in the new building off Main Street. But there is no guarantee of it happening.

Of course one of the competing interests is the desire for a wave pool. For the citizens that do not know what that is, I will try to help. So far there is a design in progress with $32,000 of that free money from the WDC. Think of it as a natural water slide, think Funtown/Splashtown except with big rocks and a bridge abutment in middle of the pool at the end.

Yes, above the falls there is 5 miles of beautiful river. Of course, only about a half-mile of it is in Westbrook. Maybe Gorham and Windham don’t want their part messed with.

By the way, Mallison Falls would make a better wave pool spot, more rocks and less bridge abutments.

It is time to pay attention and put the brakes on these ideas. We have done a great job of attracting revenue-generating business. That is where our attention should be focused.

In the meantime, maybe some of that free money from the WDC money tree could be spent on repairing things like our streets. At some point even that tree will not bear fruit.

I do not want to be totally pessimistic. The success of these ideas will create needs to get users here. How about we get train service from Portland to Black bridge, where kayakers can depart and paddle up river? That shouldn’t cost much.

Bruce Libby


Thanks from Dorcas Society

The Dorcas Society of Hollis and Buxton would like to thank all the individuals and businesses that contributed to our successful annual Dorcas Fair on July 18. We are grateful to Reynolds Motor Sports, The Mustard House, Buxton Eye Care, Nicely and Co, Saco River Theatre, Just Your Style, Snell’s Family Farm, Joy Valley Woodworks, Main Street Cutters, Main Street Florist, New Leaf Salon, Farmhouse Flowers, NAPA, Plummer’s Hardware, Plummer’s Store, Serenity Salon and Winterberry Barn.

Also our thanks to individuals who donated to the community raffle include: Catherine Lamson, Debbi Neilsen, Linda Caoette, Beverly Atkinson, Teresa Blaschke, Jane Charron and Linda Hillock. The proceeds from our fair enable us to continue to make charitable contributions to local organizations, provide a Bonny Eagle scholarship and maintain the Bar Mills Parish House.

Sharon House

and members of the Dorcas Society of Hollis and Buxton

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