Letter: South Portland seeks feedback

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I am writing to encourage South Portland residents and people who do business in South Portland to take a brief on-line survey about a proposed vision for the future of South Portland. The links are at the bottom of the city’s Web page, www.southportland.org.

It is important to plan for the future of South Portland. We have many wonderful assets, but we also have some significant challenges. For example, the city’s general valuation went down $140.3 million or 3.8 percent from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010. From 2009-2010 to 2010-2011 the valuation went down an additional $190.9 million or 5.4 percent.

One way to look at these figures is that the amount of new development in South Portland is not coming close to making up for changes in state tax policy and changes in property assessments. To the extent that citizens want to grow the tax base as one of the ways of holding down the property tax rate, we will need to look at where and with what standards to encourage redevelopment.

This is where the Comprehensive Plan’s Vision Statement and Survey come in. It is important that as many South Portland residents and business people as possible take the survey so that the committee members will know whether they are on track in developing what will be more specific proposals for the community to consider in the months ahead.

Tex Haeuser
Planning & Development director
South Portland