Because they often dream beyond a city’s means, comprehensive plans tend to gather two things: initial supporters and eventual dust. But, with luck, the plans can be blueprints. Lewiston has made great strides in the last decade. The Lincoln Street complex is both functional and gorgeous, thanks to a robust private-public partnership.

We may have to dream even better plans soon, because the editorial of Oct. 9 underlined a key point: Our old mills won’t be around forever. Without these grand old monuments, Lewiston would be another shopworn city, seduced and abandoned by the American Dream.

We must save our heritage buildings. To survive and prosper, the mills will need private capital and public investment, as will the city. The key to attracting investment is education.

There’s no sense in a company going somewhere without an educated, trainable work force. Such work forces don’t grow on trees; they grows in schools. If we want our next generation to lead, we need to generate our homegrown young entrepreneurs. Our youth need something to aspire to.

Education provides that.

Maine’s move to an upgraded community college system was a giant step. The Twin Cities need to take some baby steps, too — from development, to directed business attraction, to programming and coordinated projects — or we risk stepping backward.

Mill No. 5? Maybe Museum L-A should move there and create a stop on the map: The New England Museum of the Industrial Revolution. What better setting for such a venture?

Michael T. Corrigan, Lewiston

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