On Nov. 4, when the voters of Cumberland will be asked to approve the town’s borrowing of $3 million for property, they should be aware of the following:
• The beach is covered by environmentally sensitive beach and dune grasses.
• Planned “improvements” contradict an easement given by Mrs. Payson to the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust, and are subject to scrutiny by the Department of Environmental Protection and attorney general’s office.
• Beach usage is severely limited by high tides, mudflats, gravel and grasses.
Without these limitations the land is overpriced; with the inevitable restrictions, grossly so.
Purchasing the property will increase Cumberland’s indebtedness by 30 percent, while we may not know its true value for several years.
The town should reassess its priorities, give taxpayers reasonable value, and fulfill an obligation to prevent irrevocable environmental damage.
As it currently stands there are too many unanswered questions to justify moving forward with the proposed purchase.