I am a retired selectman in Pownal. When I was on the board, I oversaw the tax assessing and, among many other duties, worked with the Planning Board on Central Maine Power projects, and I’d like to express support for New England Clean Energy Connect.
I always found CMP to be very accommodating. They listened to our requests and tried to mitigate any issues that we brought to their attention. They were sensitive to sound and environmental issues that concerned us and strove to have as little impact as possible.
The economic benefit they currently bring is substantial. Pownal has a total value of just over $240 million. CMP’s value in the town is assessed at just under $70 million. CMP now pays almost 25 percent of our tax commitment. If NECEC goes forward, it would provide additional, much-needed revenue to the town. If this money is used responsibly, Pownal will have an opportunity to make long-lasting improvements to the town that will provide an economic boost to the community.
In Pownal, NECEC will be constructed on property that CMP currently owns and utilizes for transmission lines and related electric infrastructure. It is true that some properties that border the CMP property near the junction of Allen Road and Fickett Road will be impacted. There is no denying this, but CMP will have to work through the Pownal Planning Board for approval, where abutter concerns will be heard.
A recent television ad claimed that Pownal has voted against NECEC. This is not true, as Pownal is governed by its annual town meeting. There has been no town meeting vote on this project. After viewing this false accusation, it makes me wonder just how many other untruths the group opposing this project has publicized.
The generation and use of clean and renewable energy should be a priority for all of us who care about the future.