As a board member of Grow L+A and long-time Lewiston resident, I appreciate the Sun Journal’s report (Oct. 2) on the City Council vote of Oct. 1 — the successful outcome of many efforts to save Bates Mill No. 5 for creative reuse. Indeed, that outcome was, in many ways, a delayed result of the Sun Journal asking readers to suggest uses for the building in late 2011. However, note that there were some gaps, as well as incorrect statements, in the article.

Public discussions about possible uses began in May 2012, and have continued through fall 2013. Grow L+A was incorporated in September 2012, with Bates Mill No. 5 only one of its interests.

Many individuals, most of them not board members, took part in conducting research (thank you environmental studies students from Bates College), spreading awareness, writing successful grants, responding to a poll about a downtown grocery store, contacting potential investors, visiting food hubs and indoor markets, providing suggestions about businesses they would like to see in the mill, and working with city staff.

Although the deadline set by the City Council in March required us to focus on Bates Mill No. 5, we have continued to look for other projects, and to respond to requests for assistance from groups and individuals in the Twin Cities.

Grow L+A is an organization of many people of different ages, interests, experiences and skills. The 17 current board members do include architects (three) and developers (two), as stated in the Sun Journal article, but we are also college students, lawyers, retirees, business people and financial analysts. Other active members of the organization include planning professionals, students, business owners, teachers and artists — -all who care about our community.

Christine Holden, Lewiston

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: