I will be voting yes on June 9 to support the addition of the credit union on Main Street in Cumberland.
Over the past several years as both part of local government and a private citizen, I’ve participated in hearings on previous proposals regarding other Main Street projects. The various school renovation projects brought out protests in various forms to include traffic and other aesthetics. In recent conversations with long-time Cumberland residents, most agree that the campus has never looked better. Similar protests were heard when the two recent condominium projects were proposed. Again these projects which provide housing for our older citizens have fit well into our community and have had little, if any negative impact.
We already have two Main Street businesses that generate far more traffic than the proposed credit union, but they provide valuable services and tax revenue to our community. I have little doubt that the credit union will also be a good citizen providing a necessary service, tax revenue and contributions to our local organizations with little impact.
The survey done in conjunction with work on our current Comprehensive Plan has indicated citizen interest in having businesses that provide essential services on Main Street, if they are carefully planned. Until any revised zoning is done, contract zoning is the best method available to ensure that all possible safeguards are built into any proposal.
The notion that approval of this project will signal the end of Main Street as we know it is greatly exaggerated.
Peter K. Bingham