2016-01-15 / Letters

Where’s discussion about worth of the three dams?

To the editor:

For almost a year we have been hearing presentations and reading opinions about the fate of the three dams on the Mousam River.

We’ve heard about fish, the possible appearance of the river if the dams were removed, and river abutters’ concerns about their property values.

We’ve heard that relicensing the dams will cost $9 million to $11 million probably more, and removing the three dams will cost around $2 million.

Curiously, I cannot recall any discussion of what the dams are actually worth – how much money the hydrogenerated power saves over purchased power. According to Kennebunk Light and Power District figures, for the five-year period 2010 through 2014 the dams have saved an average of $11,325 per year. Let’s double that to $20,000 per year.

If you were to invest in an interest-bearing account that paid only 2 percent inter- est per year, how much would you have to invest to get an income stream of $20,000 per year? Only $1 million. How can the power district board consider spending 10 times that amount to license the dams? Are ratepayers willing to spend $ 11 million to get a return that they could get for only $1 million?

Philip Walcutt

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