2016-01-22 / Letters

Don’t sit idle while a part of town disappears

To the editor:

It appears that the Mousam dams controversy is generating as many letters to the editor as the school bond issue did.

Allow me to add to the verbiage. The Jan. 15 Post published two letters, both well documented and logically presented, concerning removal of the dams.

Regarding “worth of the three dams?” one letter states that it will cost $9 million to relicense the dams. It will cost $9 million to relicense already existing dams that are not very large? Really?

Isn’t the existing ecosystem created years ago by the damming doing very nicely for fauna, flora and abutters.?

Can our elected officials tell us why the cost to relicense what already exists is so high? Whatever the answer, the decision to remove or not to remove has to be based on more than the financial cost to stockholders, ratepayers and abutters whose property will certainly be negatively affected by removal.

My non-scientific, nonfi nancial vote against removal is influenced by two personal experiences.

Fifteen years ago my family moved to Summer Street in Kennebunk, despite the house we chose being two blocks from Route 1 and a downtown that lacked charm when compared with other Maine villages we visited (the improvements initiated by the town manager are terrific and well worth the expense.)

The dam, reminiscent of water power for old mills, its resulting body of water, and the waterfall in the town’s center influenced our choice to live in Kennebunk.

Two years later we moved to a rural area of Kennebunkport so close to the Batson River that a corner of our barn is 12 feet from its flood plain. There are two culverts nearby because one was not enough to prevent storms from washing out Arundel Road.

Conversely, during the summer, the river dried up into a muddy rivulet. Then, about four years ago, beavers built dams above where the river intersects the road and downriver from the road and our house.

Since then the river has not flooded and the water level remains high all summer. Now there are fish, water lilies, ducks, beavers and lots of birds. It is lovely, and the change has increased our home’s value.

So why disturb – on Arundel Road or in downtown Kennebunk – established eco-systems that generate natural fecundity and add to the joy of living in southern Maine? Because of money and bureaucracy? Haven’t we already caused enough harm for those reasons? How about petitioning all our elected officials to get involved.

Maybe they can do something. Don’t sit by while a lovely part of Kennebunk disappears.

Lou Miller

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