It seems some of the Biddeford citizens who attended the Sept. 10 City Council meeting missed the point that the comprehensive parking plan proposed by the city is not chiefly for tourism or local business patronage. The planned 640-space garage is fundamentally aimed at accelerating the ongoing economic development of downtown Biddeford.

A garage would allow larger-scale businesses to consider locating downtown. In fact, City Manager Jim Bennett admitted that at least one employer that would have brought up to 200 good-paying jobs to Biddeford decided not to come here because our city does not have secure, consistent parking.

Further, as some at the meeting were very concerned with taxes, the garage will not be paid for at all by property taxes. In fact, by creating the right business climate in Biddeford, the city can actually ensure a stable or decreased tax rate for homeowners. Creating hundreds of downtown parking spaces will encourage more large employers to locate in the city, and lessen the tax burden on ordinary families. If we want quality, high-paying jobs for the people who live in our community, this infrastructure is desperately needed.

As we approach the election in November, I hope that Biddeford voters will keep these facts in mind, and will vote to support the incredible progress for our city that our mayor, Alan Casavant, and other councilors have made.

Stephanie Edwards


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