Responsibility for neglect
In response to Mr. Ted Talbert’s letter to the editor of Oct. 5 regarding the MDOT Downtown Project, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Talbert’s statement that “this town is dying of neglect.”
However, I strongly disagree with who is responsible for the “neglect.”
The neglect is that of several property and business owners in downtown Wiscasset and the town itself. Neglect is when the town allows the concrete stairs on the north side of Main Street to become so decrepit and dangerous that, during the height of our tourist season, yellow danger tape needs to be wrapped around the railings so the stairs cannot be used. Neglect are the brick sidewalks that are so warped from tree roots that, for the elderly and handicapped, they become difficult to negotiate. Neglect is the hand railing on the north side of Main Street that can almost be pulled out of the ground and wobbles when you hold onto it. Neglect are the buildings in town that have sat empty for years because no one wants to buy in a town that refuses to move forward. Neglect is not being honest about the negative impact the traffic has on the surrounding communities and the image of Wiscasset.
When speaking to anyone that has traveled Route 1, inevitably the complaint regarding traffic in Wiscasset is brought up. Neglect is refusing to really look at the downtown and realize that it is in desperate need of a facelift and reconfiguration.
The MDOT project will give the downtown new ADA compliant sidewalks and handrails, lights, stairs, and additional parking. It will encourage new business and investment. Perhaps it will encourage certain property owners to take pride in their buildings and make necessary improvements and certain business owners to keep the areas in front and around their buildings picked up and not allow weeds to overtake the sidewalks.
Finally, neglect is having a sign that claims to be “the prettiest village in Maine” and not living up to it.