Re: “Maine Voices: Expanded deep-freezing facility would heat up local, state economy” (July 17):

Eimskip has been a great addition to the Portland waterfront. The need for cold storage to support its continued growth and aid Maine’s food and fishing industries is obvious. So, why the lack of transparency regarding this important project?

What has come out of this protracted zoning-change process is that Americold’s proposal does not meet the terms of the request for proposal issued by the Maine Port Authority. The cozy relationship between the port authority, Eimskip and Americold scared off other well-qualified bidders for this project. The only local developer who submitted a proposal was quickly rejected for excess height (how ironic) and because it planned to contract-hire its management expertise, which is a very common practice in the cold storage industry.

It is obvious that the Maine Port Authority selected the winning bidder long before the request for proposal was issued and has been running interference on the project ever since. Any zoning change that is intended to solely benefit Americold’s profitability over other potential bidders opens the Maine Port Authority up to endless legal challenges that will continue to delay construction.

If the Planning Board approves a zoning change to increase the height limits on West Commercial Street, the port authority has no other choice but to reissue the request for proposal so all bidders have a legitimate opportunity to equally compete.

By far the best outcome here would be for a local company to develop this project and keep profits and control right here in the state of Maine.

Guy E. Torrey

Portland