Letter: Many advantages to North Yarmouth Question 1

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North Yarmouth has the chance to enhance rural character, pursue economic and development, and replace Wescustogo Hall. This chance won’t return. Sell the school? The building is forever gone.

Imagine a village where citizens interact. Streets with flowers, sidewalks, seating – all saying this is a nice place to live.

Imagine a senior community, where people walk to the village and the municipal campus to attend exercise class. This community within a community gives residents the chance to downsize, to age in place.

Tax increment financing offers the opportunity to renovate the school through taxes assessed on new property. TIF taxes are withheld from school and county assessments and will reduce the disproportionate share we pay to School Administrative District 51 and Cumberland County.

Imagine a municipal campus that serves all needs of the town: offices, meeting rooms, kitchen, stage, gym, playground and field.

Vote yes on Question 1, no on Question 2.

Steve Palmer
North Yarmouth 

  • Questions

    Steve, please provide an updated FAQ addressing the following:
    1. With a major housing project in the middle of town, would that not increase number of children posing risk to quality of education?
    2. People come here for rural country look/feel and for the excellent schools, but a cookie cutter affordable housing projects will destroy that. That land too will be gone forever leaving us without the beauty that exists and with a stressed school system. Why is cutting down all those trees, putting in housing projects, increasing automobiles jamming traffic patterns, creating a need for more first responders a benefit for those who DO NOT live in the TIF district?
    3. Tax guarantees benefit the town from new assessment values and the developers INSIDE the TIF District, but couldn’t the required increase in services for the new housing project raise taxes for those outside the TIF district?
    4. Is there more risk for TIF projects that are more focused on ‘affordable housing’ vs commerce based projects?
    5. One argument in favor of your plan is that towns around us are doing it too, but wouldn’t this compound the first issue in this comment by an even larger headcount stressing the schools and putting tax liability on those outside the TIF district not to mention Cumberland

    • Mary

      Let me respond to #1 and #5. From June to September this year there were so many new-to-district first graders there could have been a whole new classroom plus. Those new first graders were parceled out over the existing first grade classes increasing class size, not favorably, to my way of thinking. There wasn’t a new teacher in the budget, probably a good thing since there isn’t a classroom available. Where are you going to put all those new students? Add on? Portables again? Have you thought about how much this is going to cost you?

  • Richard

    Imagine a place where the past BOS chairmen doesn’t disconnect the video feed and allows all the residents to participate in government

    Imagine a place where the head of the economic development committee doesn’t call the residents stupid on a broadcast BOS meeting

    Imagine a place where the town manager is qualified for the job

    Imagine a place where the Selectmen don’t lie and intentionally withhold information from the residents.

    Imagine a town government that recognizes you can’t spend money to save money.

    Imagine a plan that doesn’t endanger the aquifer where town residents get their drinking water.

    Imagine a plan that has the support of the Yarmouth Water District.

    I would like to live in this place because as a resident of No Yarmouth I do not.

  • I must say that this letter from Steve is bothering me. I moved into North Yarmouth 15 years ago because I wanted a town with large house lots, open space for a rural feel, a school district that was high rated and a place where I could simply drive 10 min to get to services like a grocery store, restaurants, cross-country skiing, shopping, the interstate to get to Portland, etc. If question 1 passes, we will basically turn our town center into the cluster housing look of towns like Scarborough. Do we really think it is an improvement to jam the town center with houses on ridiculously small lots, build a public sewer that our neighboring town opposes because of its proximity to their public water district, and move our town office into the NYMS building? I think our Board of Selectmen and Town Manager think we are stupid if they think this can be done at no tax increase to the citizens who don’t live in the TIF district. I can’t imagine what the morning and evening traffic would be like at the connection of route 9 and 115. Would that be a big improvement and a place where people would say “this is a nice place to live”?

    We have been lied to by our Board of Selectmen and Town Manager enough. It’s time to end this and vote no on 1, yes on 2.

  • commonsense0111

    At what point are the “leaders” of this town going to start sharing the whole story? So far for the last year (and I am certain it goes farther back than that) all information from them has been desperately one-sided. What happened to representing the people of the town instead of representing your own interests? Hypocrisy to the extreme, lying and poor behavior in general have me predisposed to vote no. But then you start doing your own research and it turns out that the Yarmouth Water District does not support this plan. It also turns out that one of the selectmen has personal gain wrapped up in potential development. I would say this is unbelievable, but… Get me out of here.

    • peter

      Which BOS has the personal gain? google has failed me in trying to find out. whats the story?

      • logical

        Watch the video of last night’s informational meeting and you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. Who from the Board gets most upset and throws insults at citizens? I’ve heard talk about this person’s involvement for about a year now buy last night confirmed it for me.