P. Bouchard: No taxpayer dollars

The Bates Mill loft project is yet another wasteful expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

Maine Housing will contribute $5.2 million to the project. There will be 33 of the apartment units set aside for Section 8 housing. That averages out to $157,575 per apartment. Add in that the rent for the Section 8 apartments will also be paid for by public tax dollars and the project becomes just another example of government waste.

If the project was worth the money, it could be financed through private investors and wouldn't require government help.

Does anybody actually believe that Section 8 housing will help in "revitalizing and reinventing downtowns in urban settings," as Lewiston City Administrator Ed Barret says?

What a joke.

Paul Bouchard, Livermore

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Didn't mayor McDonald run

Didn't mayor McDonald run against more public housing? What is this if not more public housing? Lewiston is doing all it can to encourage more public housing and to finish off the private owners of rental housing. How can the private owner (landlord) expect to compete with give away housing? How can the city expect private landlords to maintain their properties when the city policies create huge vacancy rates?


There are many good

There are many good apartments in Lewiston owned by responsible property owners; more so than so called slums. While Lewiston has so called slum lords they are few in numbers and there is no need for anyone to patronize them. Tenants have a responsibility to make an intelligent choice and not rent these units just like landlords have a responsibility to only rent to responsible tenants who will maintain their units properly and not disturb their fellow tenants. The problem in the twin cities is there are so many apartments that we should not be using taxpayer funds to help these developers line their pockets with our hard earned dollars. If the project is not viable, do not build it.

If there are tenants in need, use section 8 vouchers paying the local level of established rents so these folks can get help; this would help those in need, save tax dollars as current rents go for less than these new units, and the local owners would benefit. All these boondoggles do is create more of a surplus of apartments and feed the so called absentee ownership of rental properties as many of these so called developers are not local.

FRANK EARLEY's picture


The previous header should have read just one little statement, to be honest I forgot to ask the question, sorry

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Just one little question

I once ,shortly after losing my private company health insurance, while still on full long term disability, had the audacity to apply for Mainecare. That was back at the beginning of 2011. I was only making 55% of my income at the time.
To make a long story short, I was turned down for every possible benefit the state offered (even though I didn't apply for anything else), I'm surprised they didn't revoke my BJ's card.
About eight months later I started receiving Social Security. several months later I qualified for Medicare. I do however have to pay a monthly premium, as well as paying for prescription coverage. On top of that, I'm responsible for 20% of all treatment. It aint free.
I came to the conclusion that in order to qualify for Maincare you have to be dead. As far as everything else goes I guess its who you know. If that weren't bad enough the state keeps sending me a notice telling me I don't qualify for anything.
Being poor isn't a whole lot of fun, but being reminded of it every few months by the state is like salt in the wound. Not to mention a huge waste of resources of DHHS.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Betty, I’m glad things are

I’m glad things are turning positive for your family.

That being said, for every story I read like yours, I read or hear a story of abuse. Moreover, I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve been behind individuals in line at the grocery store who are paying with assistance money. Not all of the time, but more than half of the time they are eating better than I am eating as a measure of what they are purchasing. Moreover, I make it a point to watch these people in the parking lot since I’m curious as to what make, model, and year vehicle they are driving. My blood really boils when I see some of these same people drive off in a vehicle that most of us cannot afford, or let’s at least say choose not to purchase because we need to pay bills.

By my non-scientific estimation 50% of the people on assistance eat better than my family, of those, 50% drive late model vehicles that are not necessary if you accepting public assistance in my opinion. That means about 25% of the people buying food on assistance could perhaps make do otherwise in my estimation.

Given this is not a scientific study, just my observation; however, I’ll wager that my observations are unique. Let me put it gingerly and say that we need to prune the less needy from the welfare rolls – immediately.

Here is an extreme example. The fact that these individuals were awarded assistance in the first place is a testament to a broken system.


Can we all get on board and tell some of these people to suck it up?


That is one of the biggest

That is one of the biggest problems in this country, people like Dan Breton. When did you get your medical license? How can you make a determination of a person's inability to work simply by casual observation? When will you get out of the business of judging people and start working on what is wrong in this country. You should be ashamed of yourself, Dan, and that says it all. So make one of your notorious rebuttals and I will continue to tell people like you to BUTT OUT of decisions you're unqualified for.


Using casual observation to

Using casual observation to judge your post, your supply of grey cells was depleted long ago.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, First and foremost, this

First and foremost, this is the opinion section of the newspaper, and I never misrepresent myself in my opinion - food for thought.

Secondly, passing judgment is part of being human. Just introspect on some of your previous comments. Perhaps you’ll discover you also pass judgment. Being human means we judge.

Thirdly, let’s be adults here. There is only a finite amount of money (like it or not) to assist the needy. If there exists more needy than money, then someone must discriminate as to who gets help and who does not get help that my friend is a reality. In my opinion, you dislike people challenging the welfare state; I can only speculate that you perhaps feel threaten in some way.

Lastly, I am not shamed of myself, and I’ll continue to express my opinion as I see fit (as you will), especially when my labor is paying the bill.

Now go seize the day!

MARK GRAVEL's picture


I’ll wager that my observations are NOT unique.

Message to SJ:
Technology does exist to revision control comments for traceability, but still allow us to edit our mistakes.

Betty Davies's picture

One day, you could be the one in need...

One day, you could have a serious illness or accident, and become disabled. Or you could have a child or grandchild who is born disabled or becomes disabled.

You could find it impossible to work, or to work more than a few limited hours at a very low wage. You could go bankrupt, lose your home. Your disabled child or grandchild might never have the earning power to buy a home or even rent an apartment on their own.

When that day comes, you will recognize the value of Section 8 housing.

One of my daughters is permanently disabled. Several years ago, after two hospital stays and some time in a group home to recover a bit more, she needed a place to live. Her needs were well beyond what her father and I could manage. Her case manager found her a section 8 apartment and enlisted in-home support workers for the transition to semi-independent living.

I don't know how any of us could have gotten through those painful years without this help.

She's made very gradual progress and works part-time. My husband and I saved up + cashed in our retirement savings, such as they were, and gave her a down payment on a trailer. Now she's out of Section 8. But it was a lifesaver.

This is one of a number of programs that we all pay into, from our taxes, so that help will be there when WE or someone we love needs it. It's important for all of us to recognize that disasters can happen to us as well as to others.


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