UPDATED: LePage tells Skowehegan to sell their own bonds to complete downtown project – State “could” provide funds later
On July 20, 2012 At 1:24 pm
Responses : 6 Comments
Update: It seems that while Gov. LePage was telling the good people of Skowhegan to go pound sand, LePage was able to find State funding for another Communities for Maine’s Future project in Livermore Falls.
In a hand written note to Rep. Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan), Gov. Paul LePage explained why he is delaying the issuance of a $40 million dollar bond required for the Town of Skowhegan to complete a downtown improvement project.
The project, with a total budget of $400,000, will make safety and design improvements to a parking lot that is also used for festivals, such as the town’s annual lobster bake. The parking lot currently looks like this:
The design includes redesigning the parking layout to better utilize the area, adding sidewalks, curbs and traffic islands (with trees and shrubbery), new lighting, improving drainage, etc. The concept sketch detailing the improvements is below:
Money to be used for the project was expected to come from the Communities for Maine’s Future – of the $40 million dollar bond that Gov. LePage refuses to issue (a bond that was approved by voters in 2010), $3.5 million would go to the Communities for Maine’s Future program.
In responding to this letter from Rep. McCabe, Gov. LePage sent a note that reads (the actual note is below):
Maybe you need clarification on my position. I am not refusing to authorize the sale of bonds, I fully intend to do so when it is fiscally prudent. Maine people elected me to fix the state’s finally fiasco that has taken place over the past 16 years. The bonds will not be allowed to expire although it is in any purview should I see it to be fiscally necessary. I am working toward keeping and possibly elevating our credit rating. We have been warned that unless we take steps to pay our bills, we likely lose our current rating which is less than stellar. As soon as fiscally prudent we will sell the bonds. The Town can sell bonds to complete the project and the state could provide the funds at a later date. Thank you for the letter.
Paul R. LePage
Via a press release, McCabe said, “The governor is ignoring the will of the people and holding our local economy hostage. These shovel-ready projects put money into the hands of local contractors and will help employ people in our area.”