State sanctioned extortion
To the Editor:
Once again a state agency is attempting to shake down or stall a business opportunity that will bring in much needed tax revenue for a western Maine town. This time Alan Stearns, deputy director of the Maine BPL is using Woodstock’s WCC in squeezing Patriot Energy for more than the proposed payment of $20,000 a year for 20 years. To accomplish this government shakedown Mr. Stearns is using a newly passed but not yet enacted state law. Patriot Energy’s proposal conveys a conservation easement of 1,000 acres of their land for public recreational use, but according to Mr. Stearns that isn’t enough.
If Patriot Energy decides to go elsewhere will the Maine BPL say it wasn’t their fault as the DEP did when the Saunders Bros.’ mill sale fell through? I’m sure Woodstock could use the projected annual $400,000 in tax revenue for a variety of infrastructure improvements or God forbid a tax break. I believe either use of the new tax revenue would more than offset the perceived destruction of Woodstock’s viewscapes.
This is nothing short of state-sanctioned extortion.
Just a thought!