In the next year, Auburn will face decisions that have community-defining and irreversible consequences: Will Lake Auburn continue to provide high quality drinking water for Lewiston and Auburn residents? Will Auburn be able to offer a land base that allows an agricultural economy to exist?

The answers depend in large part upon the decisions made by the City Council regarding Auburn’s agricultural and resource zone.

The issues are complex and the process has been convoluted, making it very difficult even for the most well-intentioned residents to participate in any meaningful way.

As a resident of Auburn’s Agricultural and Resource Protection Zone, I was thus surprised and pleased to receive a survey asking for my opinion on current and possible uses of the land in the district.

I would like to thank the Auburn citizens who wanted to find out what landowners in the zone thought and then approached Bates College to turn their questions into a survey that would meet rigorous standards for credibility. The city of Auburn does not always have the resources to engage in such information gathering.

I would urge the Planning Board and the City Council to consider the results of that survey in their deliberations. And I would urge the residents of Auburn and Lewiston to monitor the Council’s deliberations and to ask questions.

Bonnie Lounsbury, Auburn

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