2018-10-05 / Letters

What’s going on with Kennebunkport roads?

To the editor,

At a special town meeting on Sept. 19 in Kennebunkport with a last minute notice without posting where the meeting would be held (possibly illegal), the voters approved a bond for up to $10 million dollars to purchase a property which was purchased in 2006 for $3.5 million and is currently assessed for only $386,600 ($3,400/year tax) because it is in tree growth to avoid higher taxes ($30,000/year tax), that’s to almost $3 million dollars in lost tax revenue. The property was not for sale but the selectmen didn’t want to lose out on any possibilities of purchasing it if it does become available. They have no specific plans to develop it but feel it is important to own it, if possible, to determine its fate.

Two of the most recent comparable land sales would be 12 acres at Wallace Woods, which sold for $540,000 (85 acres divided by 12 = 7 x $540,000 = $3,780,000) and 43 acres for $2,450,000 Binnacle Hill (85 acres divided by 43 = 2 x $2,450,000 = $4,900,000). Binnacle Hill is walking distance to Goose Rocks Beach. The average lot sales at Wallace Woods was about $270,000 and at Binnacle Hill about $450,000, so it was a much more valuable property.

There are many interesting possibilities for the developing the land but who, in their right mind, would go into a negotiation to purchase a property by letting the seller know they have been authorized to spend up to $10 million dollars to purchase it?

Apparently that’s what has happened which make this whole process a sham, they have already signed a purchase and sales agreement for $10 million dollars, in my estimate, about twice what the property is worth, and when the property is developed the town will have to pay the penalty for getting it out of tree growth.

There is a need for affordable and elderly housing in Kennebunkport and hopefully, if the town does acquire it, if that is their intent, but that can’t be done without major changes in the land use ordinance and subdivision regulations, which could have been done years ago if that’s what voters wanted.

I would recommend a contract zone to give voters the opportunity to approve whatever the town plans to do with the land if they do purchase it.

We know how carefully they have spent our tax dollars, they’ve spent over $1 million dollars on the Goose Rocks Beach lawsuit in the last 10 years, with no clear end in sight, but don’t want to approve any new public roads because they can’t afford to maintain them?

Wallace Woods and Binnacle Hill alone will generate about $300,000 in tax revenue with no children in the school system.

What is going on here?

Bill Case
Kennebunkport

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