The Town should publicly disclose the detailed proposal to DEP. The public, Conservation Commission, Water Commissioners, ARWC, and environmental groups should have had the opportunity to provide input. Interested and credible parties with good working relations with DEP would have had a real opportunity to enhance the local environment. Other communities around us are getting cash grants from the State of Maine for environmental projects. We likely would be awarded a grant if the administration was environmentally pro-active and not adversarial toward the DEP and local interests. Lisbon has two models for managing our utilities and the results are clear. The Water Dept. is overseen by a board, with minutes and open public participation. Their public complaints and system operations issues are discussed and resolved in the open. The Sewer Dept. does not cooperate with the public on any such basis. The environmental contamination by the Lisbon Sewer Dept. is the result of lack of visibility and accountability. For instance, there is no disclosure of the complaints from the Huston Park area related to the months of sewer line back-up or the system failures at the Sabattus River boat launch dumping perhaps millions of gallons of raw sewage into the river. This clearly illustrates the need to keep the Water Dept. oversight structure. Bringing the Sewer Dept. under the same management would also serve the community better than the present system.
Submitted by: Steve Warren