Lewiston Resident most of my life.
There are always extreme examples of the needy, which you so readily always expound upon as being the norm. Are they really? Grab some relatives (as I would recommend you go in a group), on a late Summer afternoon, and go park your car at Walnut and Bartlett Sts. and take a lovely walk around Knox, Walnut, Bartlett, Blake, Bates and take in the Park. Take note of the development regarding The Inn at The Agora (old St. Patrick's Church) and consider the prospects they'll encounter trying to fill the Inn and Function Hall - What will their Tri[p Advisor reviews have to say about the area. Ask your relatives if they'd like to spend a week there. Do tell them how much Federal money has been spent here in these areas already, and ask them how they feel about the return they got. Tell them your so excited by the results, you want do it all again! When you finally get to Pine and Horton, be sure to wave goodbye to the people packing up the Community Credit Union. Be assured those empty lots will have their purpose one day, they aren't going away, unlike the luckier relatives.
The developer can build what they want within Zoning regulations. When they want permission to build something beyond what Zoning allows, write-offs on City properties on taxpayers backs, and to conduct land swaps from the City all to aid in building something that many see as long term burden, (enough so that they rallied forth and petitioned their elected officials to have their say) then yes it has go to a vote.
Glad it goes to a November vote, when we'll see the best turnout. The vote will be interesting. I'm predicting support for this will fail. Too many of us have seen this precise "revitalization" scenario occur too many times before. It just hasn't worked.
These brand new 29 units of wholly Subsidized Housing aren't anything that is going to bring prosperity. If it were, other communities would be courting this project.
This project will actually bring in a little less than $30K/year in taxes over what the empty lots presently pay. This paltry tax money generated will far and away be exceeded by what 29 families that cannot support themselves will also require in subsidized rent payments... never mind the School Services, Police services, Public Works services and Fire services, Health Services and General Assistance, SSI, TANF etc.
Lewiston needs to cease the encouragement and support of such projects that serve only as magnets for yet more needy persons to locate here.