2012-03-22 / Editorial

Budgets and new parking garages for city

View From The Nest

This week’s column is a mishmash of items, including the fact that I failed to mention last week who and what organizations are responsible for the blue lights at the city halls in Biddeford and Saco.

Megan Ladd is project coordinator for the York County Colorectal Cancer Prevention Awareness Grant, which is funded from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Maine Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. Ladd is behind the project and said the goal is to increase public awareness of colorectal cancer.

The lighting of these city halls is part of Turn York County Blue, which is part of the statewide initiative to Turn Maine Blue. Other places in York County that are lit blue include York Hospital Meeting Place, Ogunquit Town Hall, Goodall Hospital in Sanford and Acton Town Hall.

It was good to hear some Biddeford School Committee members were unhappy with the budget they sent to the city council. If I had my way, people with children would pay more taxes than those without and the more children you have, the more taxes you would pay. I know that statement isn’t going to win me any popularity contests. You can talk to me about the greater good and how children will grow up to contribute to the society I live in, but I still won’t change my mind, not right now at least. On that note, I have a step daughter, though no biological children.

I’m happy to pay for fire and police services and I would always support the public works department if it needed a new garage or equipment. It would mean my husband paid higher taxes than I did since he has a child and if that were the system in place, so be it.

That brings me to the issue of building one, maybe two, parking garages in downtown Biddeford. The decision will very likely end up in the hands of voters. Should Biddeford voters approve such a project for the greater good of everyone, even if they don’t live or work downtown? If these parking garages do what officials predict they will do – foster downtown growth – doesn’t that improve the entire city’s economy and contribute to the tax base, perhaps lowering taxes for city residents?

Speaking of parking, this week’s Courier features a story about the proposed garages. According to a parking study, there’s a surplus of parking in downtown Biddeford. However, there wasn’t last Friday when my mother and I wanted to stop at the new Downtown Dollar on Main Street. Main Street was packed and it was raining, so sorry, Owner Dan Ducharme, we kept on driving and went to TJ Maxx at Biddeford Crossing instead.

Don’t agree? Send a letter to the editor: editor@inthecourier.com.

– Molly Lovell-Keely

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