In regards to the CMP corridor project, this issue is currently in the regulatory process and faces more reviews before approval. If it does move forward, the modest estimate is that Lewiston will receive six million annually in increased revenue. City officials estimate it will be closer to eight million.
Do I like that CMP is no longer a local Maine company? No. Do I like that CMP has failed miserably with the smart meter roll out and its billing? No. Do I like the significant new revenue and jobs this project will bring to our community? Yes!
What could the Lewiston City Council do with an extra four to six million dollars?
- Reduce our mill rate by roughly $2 per $1,000 of valuation. For example, a home valued at $150,000 could see about a $300 property tax reduction.
- Add 100 teachers to our public schools, which would improve our teacher-to-student ratio to 1:15 instead of our current 1:21. Realistically, it could bring our expenditures per student up to the state average, reduce class sizes, and increase student opportunities and support.
- Replace our Main, Sabattus and Lisbon Streets fire substations within four to six years, with no additional borrowing costs.
- Repave about ten miles of roads a year; typically, we can only afford about three miles a year.
- Add a combined total of 60 police officers and firefighters.
- Pay off the new arts wing addition at the high school in fewer than four
As mayor, I would advocate for a portion to be dedicated to tax reduction while using the remaining revenue to address long-delayed infrastructure needs and staffing shortages in departments such as police and fire.
The CMP project provides jobs for our residents who work in trades and financial stability for many of our local businesses. These are not special interest groups; they are our neighbors.