Should residents pay for Saco turn lane

To the editor,

This letter is relevant to Saco taxpayers.

WHAT: On Monday, April 22 Saco will consider approving a budget allocation of $308,233 to help a private developer pay for a 2018 site plan condition of approval.

WHY: After the City Council granted a Contract Zone Agreement in 2016 with amendment in 2018 to allow a school campus to be constructed at 184 Simpson Road, The Ecology School (TES) agreed to the Planning Board’s conditions of approval. (Source: 6/19/18 PB agenda.)

Based on verified traffic analysis and extensive deliberation by the Planning Board, one condition included an off-site turn lane improvement at Rte. 112 and Simpson Road to address new traffic that TES programming would add to the roadway based on the CZA’s maximum of 200 TES participants.


HOW: Years later with no turn lane constructed, TES and private attorney Phil Saucier present that taxpayers should help fund the turn lane. (Source: 11/22/21 council meeting:

Council voted 4 to 2 on Oct. 16, 2023 to move forward with an application to MDOT for the TES turn-lane project: the BPI grant requires each party to pay 33.33% of a $924,700 price tag, with Saco’s portion capped at $308,233. MDOT notified Saco in March of the grant’s approval.

Bailouts of developers who agree to site plan conditions but fail to complete them as they enjoy growth with land and house purchases, expanding payrolls, and programming and infrastructure additions, is a dangerous precedent that the Town Council should avoid.

Please attend the Saco Council meeting on April 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Inga Sandvoss Browne

Passing of former Biddeford fire chief


To the editor,

I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of former Biddeford Fire Chief Raymond Parent. His dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment to modernizing the fire department have left an indelible mark on all of us who had the privilege of serving under his command.

Chief Parent was not only a remarkable leader but also a visionary who understood the importance of embracing innovation and progress in your line of work. His initiatives and reforms have significantly enhanced the department’s capabilities, ensuring that you are better equipped to serve and protect the community.

As we mourn his loss, let us also celebrate his legacy — a legacy of professionalism, excellence, and service. Chief Parent’s impact will continue to be felt for years to come, inspiring us to uphold the standards of excellence he set forth in his department.

Please know that my thoughts are with the Biddeford Fire department, and Chief Parent’s loved ones during this difficult time. May you all find comfort in the memories of his remarkable life and the profound difference he made in the lives of so many. I served under him from 1973-1979 . With deepest sympathy,

Ralph Duquette FF-EMT (retired)
Old Orchard Beach

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