11/25/99 Forecaster
Chebeague Island access is state's responsibility

To the editor:

Some facts omitted from your recent articles:

The Maine Department of Transportation's job is to facilitate transportation of people and goods from Kittery to Fort Kent and from the White Mountains to the islands - whose connecting roads are under water. Yarmouth is the only town trying to deny through access to a neighbor.

Maine Department of Transportation, therefore, is obliged to intervene. The state's use of eminent domain in carrying out its transportation duties is no secret. The possibility should be obvious to anyone.

The town of Cumberland's request for state involvement was an 11th hour, last-resort action after vain attempts to come to a reasonable solution with the town of Yarmouth, whose council seemingly remains oblivious to a previous referendum when a large majority of Yarmouth people favored Chebeague's access.

The state-created Resolution Committee's search already on record.

The problems with the Central Maine Power site existed. They were not furtively arranged by Cumberland.

Attorney Cole's memo to Cumberland's Council was based on a knowledge of Chebeague's past difficulties with Yarmouth. Every concession on Chebeague's part produced more demands from Yarmouth. It was Cole's responsibility to suggest something more secure.

Ms. Blanchard's announced intention of not renewing the parking lot lease included no indication that she planned to run it herself. continued parking was not mentioned until eminent domain was in process.

Should the state give up its rights to the dock - paid for largely by Cumberland - and Wharf Road, it would be unable to provide through access for Chebeague and put at risk the rescue service, which requires an operating boat and an available crew, as well as the school children's best access to education.

Through access is MDOT's job. It is doing it. Let's not talk of "bullying."

Jean Dyer
Chebeague Island,