As townspeople, facing a near financial crisis in our public schools, are we prepared to take the Captain Fish property off the tax rolls? As well intentioned as the nonprofit Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation board may be, I question if another park is a priority. Is it more prudent to replace a worn out motel with a new structure encompassing lodging and retail opportunities that will be added to our tax rolls and provide construction and hospitality job opportunities.
Moving forward are we encouraging business to come here and our young people to stay in town? Our population is in decline; the median age of our citizens is 56 and 33 percent are over 65 years old with only 16 percent between ages 25 and 44.
We have a school system, a YMCA, an opera house, botanical garden, scientific research center, golf course and extensive waterfront properties owned by the Land Trust including 2,000 feet of public access water frontage at the recently acquired Oak Point Farm in Boothbay Harbor, but who will be using and supporting these great facilities if we don’t encourage businesses to join us.
Maybe everyone should know who is on the board of the Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation, are they recently arrived citizens, summer people, are they young people, old people, are they aware of the challenges our region is facing? Is this the best use of their money – and ours? It’s time to get our priorities in line with the real needs of our community and it’s time for the selectmen to provide a warrant on which the citizens can vote.