2016-12-02 / Letters

Trustees have been factual, fair and open

To the editor:

In his letter to the Kennebunk Post on Nov. 18, Tom Murphy crowed about the victory in the recent referendum for those fighting against restoration of the Mousam River.

Not so fast. This was a flawed and misleading referendum. It did not include a critical fact, the cost of keeping the dams, and that is no small matter. Wright Pierce, independent consultants hired by the KLP, peg the upfront costs at $4,088,500 to $5,662,000. So why were these costs never revealed to voters in the material provided by the Save the Dams folks? Obviously, they don’t fit a pro-dam message.

In fact, much of the Save the Dams effort was full of misleading information, half-truths and made up facts.

First, anyone can see how the Mousam will look after dam removal. It will look like the river in places where water flow is not now restricted by dams – like the river below Route 1. And like the Mousam just below the Twine Mill and Perkins Mill Dams, beautiful natural stretches of river perfect for paddling and fishing. Why are these stretches of river never shown in Save the Dams material? Again, it doesn’t fit a pro-dam message.

Wright Pierce prepared simulations of what the river will look like. It won’t be the Mudsam, a name purposely coined by Save the Dams to exaggerate and create fear. Each of the rivers that have been restored in Maine are as beautiful after as before.

The Save the Dams folks assert that complying with state and federal environmental laws is a waste of money; there are just nine fish in the river. Really? If there are only nine, I have caught them all. A video on www.mousamriver.com taken below the Kesslen Dam shows hundreds of fish trying to swim upstream. Don’t take my word for it, take a look.

Supporters of Save the Dams prepared their own analysis of the economics of the dams that claims continued operation of the dams is very profitable. This analysis was reviewed by two independent consultants for KLP, disproven and discarded.

The Save the Dams folks say that restoring the Mousam will expose toxic waste, yet months ago KLP drained the river to test sediments and found none.

I could go on. But I am even more disappointed by attacks from Save the Dams supporters on the trustees of KLP and KLP’s general manager.

The trustees of KLP have commissioned experts to obtain independent, unbiased facts. They have listened to hours of public testimony. They have deliberated in public, explaining the reasons for their thinking and taking the heat for these from the audience. They have been factual, fair and open, precisely what we expect of trustees.

Tom, your letters (and the letters of other supporters of the dams) have included character attacks and wild insinuations about KLP trustees and others who have another point of view. I, and others in this town, know you and we know this is out of character. I encourage you to use your political skills to help the trustees to make sound decisions that reflect the facts and informed views of the citizens of Kennebunk.

Curtis A. Mildner

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