I wish to commend the Poland selectmen and staff for their efforts to identify the challenge concerning the town’s finances and obligations to Poland Spring Bottling in light of the TIF difficulties.

I do believe they are missing a golden opportunity to reduce the TIF repayment burden by 25 percent while restoring the trust and confidence of townspeople.

Recently, I asked the Board of Selectmen to reconsider their purchase of a heavy rescue vehicle for nearly $500,000 to be paid by funds from the TIF account; they respectfully declined. This vehicle, approved at town meeting 18 months ago and still not purchased, will serve the entire region’s rescue needs. But the town voted for that purchase without the knowledge that the town also owes more than $2 million to the very account that will pay for that vehicle. The vehicle is a luxury that a town flush with cash can afford; I believe the only other vehicle of its kind in Maine is owned by Portland.

The chair has stated the TIF shortfall will be paid back with TIF dollars and taxpayers will experience only a small tax increase. Here is an opportunity to tighten our belts, reduce the effect on the upcoming tax increase, restore fiscal integrity to the town and illustrate that the board is responsive to the citizens.

I am hoping others will register an opinion to cancel the purchase.

Ike Levine, Poland


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