2016-04-29 / Letters

Sign petition, attend May 11 meeting

To the editor If you do a search for Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers Alliance you will immediately be directed to the Maine Rivers website. In the April 22 Kennebunk Post a letter was written by John Burrows and associates stating that the MKRA was a local group and wanted us to believe that in no way his so-called local group is affiliated with any outside groups or funding.

If you click links under more info you will find Removing Dams in Maine: A Basic Guide for Project Managers (notice the reference to Maine, not Kennebunk). On page one you will find logos from four groups that are not MKRA. Scroll to page 13, under public visioning, “With some creative community visioning, the fear of loss can be turned into a sense of gain.” Page 14, “The perception of an idea such as dam removal is more important than the science that backs it up.”

In the letter they state, “The science of removing dams and restoring natural processes, habitats, and fisheries is beyond question.”

Really? A number of scientists felt that way about the Connecticut River and were forced to give up when the funding dried up after 50 years of failure. (see the Boston Globe, Aug. 4, 2012).

There are many local chapters of national groups, like the Knights of Columbus or NRA, that have local chapters, but I wouldn’t call them strictly local groups.

The river groups have been meeting periodically with the KLP board since September 2011. Why did they not invite the public? The first public KLP hearing was in July 2013.

If they were truly interested in intelligent, respectful conversations the public would be included from day one. Five years is a long time; Many only learned about the issue in the last year.

Many have requested from KLP a breakdown showing ratepayers how each alternative would affect their monthly bill. The people of Kennebunk deserve this information from the KLP board, which has a fiduciary duty to represent them, first and foremost. Surely, Maine Rivers has many years of experience with this type of analysis (dam removals), so they would know how to find accurate numbers to assist with an informed decision. All we hear is it will cost millions, so we must remove the dams (fear sells).

I, for one, do not believe the numbers that have been put out there. The latest Wright-Pierce report showed a mysterious decrease in the projected cost of replacement power if the dams are removed, via a vis the prior report. A resident calculated keeping the dams might cost a couple of cans of coffee per year.

I believe keeping the dams will actually pay, rather than cost us, in the long term (think inflation hedge).

That says nothing about increasing our reliability of supply. If we have blackouts due to a very hot summer, every little bit helps.

For many years the district has performed a stellar job in terms of cost and reliability. I believe most on the board of trustees want to do the right thing for the ratepayers.

Please sign the petition and/or attend the May 11 meeting at town hall. Your voice does matter.

There is a petition at www.change.org/organizations/mousam.

Ward Hansen

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