Community leaders urge voters to pass Question 4
HAMPDEN, Maine – Maine roads, bridges, ports, transit, rail and aviation infrastructure require investment to keep Maine businesses competitive, citizens safe and to help create jobs. “This bond is a fiscally responsible tool with short- and long-term benefits, that will assist with crucial needs and put projects in place to help rebuild Maine's economy,” said Bangor Mayor Cary Weston, a member of the Mayors’ Coalition on Jobs and Economic Development.
“I have been employed with H.O. Bouchard for more than 32 years, and I have never seen the roads and bridges in Maine in such disrepair as they are today,” said Bouchard’s Smith. He noted Bouchard’s trucks travel 4.75 million miles on Maine roads every year, and that “every mile of bad road…costs our company money. This cost is ultimately borne by the Maine consumer.”
“This bond issue is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Lessard, who spoke of the positive community impact from 3,100 jobs the bond would support and backlog of repairs needed on state roads in her town, including Routes 69 and the intersection of Routes 1A and 9 where earlier this year a tractor-trailer overturned. She noted that Hampden’s “waiting list” of state roads to be repaired could be replicated “in every community across the state.”
Gelinas, president of the Penobscot Bay & River Pilots Association addressed the portion of the bond that would improve Maine ports at Searsport and Eastport, including $3 million for dredging the shipping channel at Mack Point. “The channel is silting in … introducing delays for ships arriving at the port … Some ships have had to ‘short-load’ to access the port, meaning that they cannot carry as much cargo as they are designed to do,” said Gelinas who noted the port portion of the bond would “free-up $10 million dollars in federal funds, a better than 3-to-1 match.”
To learn more about the bond and the funding included for roads, bridges, rail, transit and aviation, visit www.keepmainemoving.org
Download comments from the 10/31/12 Question #4, Maine Transportation Bond, Press Conference:
Statement of Captain David T. Gelinas, President Penobscot Bay & River Pilots Association
Statement of Susan Lessard, Hampden Town Manager
Statement of Irv Smith, Traffic Manager, H.O. Bouchard, Inc.
Statement of Cary Weston, Mayor of Bangor Member, Mayors’ Coalition on Jobs and Economic Development