Letter: 'Need' versus 'want' in Yarmouth
On July 20 the Yarmouth Town Council will discuss spending $175,000 to improve a small waterfront facility on Cousins Island. Currently the use of that area is well balanced between boaters, picnickers, kayak and canoe users, swimmers and the neighbors. However, some changes need to be made to define parking, to control erosion issues and other necessary improvements which are included in Phase 1 for $25,000. This phase also includes an important dinghy tie-up on the shore for five commercial fishermen.
Phase 2 for $150,000 to build a pier, ramp, and float for 50 seasonal mooring holders is a "want." I believe that it is not reasonable to spend that amount of taxpayers' money on a recreational/seasonal facility to benefit a very small minority of residents. There is no income from the use of the docking facility other than the mooring fee charged. And that fee will hardly cover the annual maintenance costs of the dock, ramp and float.
Yarmouth "needs" better sidewalks and pedestrian ways, improved road surfaces and workforce housing. The benefits from those projects benefit the many. The Madeleine Point pier, ramp and float would be nice to have, but it is not a need, not a public health necessity and not a public safety requirement. It is an expensive "want."
There are more reasonable ways to improve Madeleine Point waterfront and for a lot less than the proposed $175,000 of taxpayers' money.
Pamelia B. Adams