The rats in my neighborhood in South Portland are caused by Central Maine Power’s construction next to the water treatment plant, which started in mid-July. Soon after, rats showed up in my neighborhood.

The only other time we’ve had rats was in 1996, during the construction of the Casco Bay Bridge, by the water treatment plant. I abut Mill Creek Park, the Greenbelt and the creek by Mahoney Middle School and Brown School. Rats were there in 1996 as I’m sure they are now.

I’ve learned there was an issue on Meetinghouse Hill/Willard Beach not too long ago, and that the water treatment plant had cut their exterminating from monthly to quarterly. When the folks on Meetinghouse Hill/Willard Beach threatened to go to the news, suddenly the city was able to reach into their budget and find the money to exterminate that area.

Since the city officials know that lack of extermination is causing rats to infiltrate neighborhoods, why are they allowing the water treatment plant to exterminate less frequently? Why in 1996 didn’t the city enact an ordinance that says that any construction near the treatment plant requires exterminating before construction begins, in order to contain it before it spreads? How is it OK to dump cost onto the homeowner for the water treatment plant’s lack of maintenance?

This is not just a nuisance – it’s a huge public health hazard. The city has allowed this to happen and needs to step up.

Barbara Everett
South Portland

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