Opinion

Abbot Route 6/15 project cut

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To the Editor;
Last Thursday, May 9 we received the terrible news that the $7.1 million highway reconstruction project scheduled to begin in Abbot has been pulled. My first reaction, perhaps like yours, is “why us — how come we never get anything!” That is a natural reaction. In reality, these constructions decisions are made using set criteria. This still doesn’t help when we all rattle along over terrible stretches of highway. This stretch of road is one of many in Maine that are in dire need.

Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford

Why doesn’t the Legislature and administration in Augusta fix this? My answer is that we should. The answer is a simple one — we do not budget enough money to maintain basic infrastructure. Instead we allocate large amounts to a plethora of social programs and other projects and initiatives. It is a matter of priorities. Instead of making those tough decisions when developing and approving budgets we push them out in the form of bonds, knowing full well that the voters will likely approve borrowing money because the roads and bridges are a necessity — not a luxury. The current proposed budget has zero room to even consider price increases that we are seeing in highway construction, or any other negative effects on the economy that might occur.

We will continue to battle for better decisions regarding priorities, but it is certainly frustrating.

If Thoreau were to come through today, heading toward Moosehead, he would probably say to his guides “well boys, the road still needs work .. ”

Rep. Paul Stearns
R-Guilford

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