2015-11-27 / Letters

Proposal is result of nostalgic needs

To the editor:

Kennebunk selectmen authorized the town manager to seek funding to rehabilitate the old train station, which would bring train service back to Kennebunk, a proposal that includes partial federal funding in support of this project.

The proposal advanced was not the result of a sound business plan, but one based purely on a nostalgic, outdated perception of our need.

The plan presentation failed in the following: Cost of repairs, an open-ended estimate that relies on TIF funds for all expenses exceeding a federal grant, an amount starting at $1,100,000, not subject to voter approval; Justification not based on estimated ridership; Justification that does not include the labor cost to maintain the facilities, such as the lobby, restrooms and security; and justification gives no hint as to how we would meet the additional transportation needs of tourists if they used the train.

As citizens of this town, we should expect that any expenditure meets the needs of the community, that we expect the town management to have thoroughly reviewed all options and that selectmen hold them, not only to good planning practices, but meeting the goals and objectives that should be a part of any proposal.

No expenditure should be based solely on the source of the funds.

Edward Geoghan

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