The return of 'sewercide'?

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“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

— Mark Twain

I have to thank the creator of the “Dilbert” cartoon strip because that is where I noticed “sewercide” being used. Dilbert was ordered to go to the land of Elbonia and he had to crawl through a sewer pipe to get there, so he called it a “sewercide mission.”

It’s not that I mind the town of Windham having some type of sewer treatment facility, whatever that might entail. What I don’t like is paying for the maintenance and repair of my own septic system while paying some of the costs of a sewer system for someone else. I believe that if that is the case, then the town of Windham should take ownership of all of the town’s septic systems along with the associated costs.

I normally try to read the Windham town council agenda posted before the next meeting. The council meeting for last Tuesday included a formal meeting with a few things to vote on and then a discussion item on a sewer proposal for North Windham. I don’t know who came up with the North Windham business area being our town’s downtown, but then again I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as it’s a good gimmick to spend even more of money from I can see. If so much of that business area needs improving and beautification, it kind of tells me we had a whole lot of selectmen and town councilors that were sleeping at meetings along with no planning at all.

The discussion item for a proposed, partial sewer system is not that well-defined in a short memo to the Windham town councilors. It is described as being “a type of public-private partnership to create the first part of what would likely be a series of decentralized public wastewater collection and treatment systems in the North Windham area,” which hopefully leaves room for many questions from the town councilors. The memo goes to mention that treated water would be released under the ground, which makes me wonder where the aquifer has disappeared to and that’s not the only time that has happened. It also mentions that the treatment facility would be owned by the town and that other such facilities would have to be constructed for other parts of North Windham. The proposal also calls for the “writing and town council approval of Gateway North B TIF with a credit enhancement agreement,” which I could presume might be a method of paying for the treatment system by avoiding residents approving the project.

I have always been against a TIF of any type. I would much rather that all tax dollars collected go into the general fund to start with, rather than a slush fund of some type where taxpayers have no control. I consider them a scam and even some well-known economists say the same thing. We still to this day hear how more commercial construction resulting in more businesses will surely lower the tax burden of residential property owners. Didn’t happen after the Maine Mall was built and hasn’t happened since the addition of many more businesses in Windham. Government has a spending problem and when it gets more money, it spends more.

But I have to state that there isn’t much information on this sewer proposal yet. If the funding comes from the users, as it should, I would more than likely have no objections at all to it. The problem lies with government and all one has to do is look at the Cumberland County Civic Center which is renamed with what I believe is an attempt to fool citizens our tax dollars aren’t paying for it. It’s just another good reason to do away with county government. With the prospect of an even costlier Public Works Facility, cosmetic improvements to the North Windham area and maybe even a new middle school, where is all the money going to come from?

Lane Hiltunen of Windham says don’t worry. North Korea doesn’t have an ICBM, yet.