Darlene Simoneau March 26, 2015
Transportation Committee Clerk
100 State House Station,
Augusta, Maine 04333
Dear Senator Collins, Representative McLean and Members of the Transportation Committee,
We are writing in support of LD 506, An Act to Improve Public-Private Transportation Partnerships. As Selectmen from the Town of Sangerville, we are deeply concerned that the Public-Private Partnership Law, as it exists today, allows private entities to initiate proposals for new transportation infrastructure projects within the State of Maine. In Sangerville we have been threatened by the proposed construction of a so called, East/West Corridor, which, if constructed, would cut our Town in two. Faced with the threat of this unwanted project, in the spring of 2013, Sangerville passed a Moratorium against the construction of “Public and Public-Private Transportation and Distribution Corridors.” Later that same year we chose to enact a self-governance ordinance in an attempt to further protect ourselves from this undesired development.
The proposed changes that LD 506 would bring to the existing Public-Private Transportation Partnership Law would prevent private entities from using State resources to drive projects that are not developed through the existing State planning processes. We strongly feel that, the Maine Department of Transportation best represents the interests of the citizens of Maine, and that the responsibility for the development and control of future transportation infrastructure projects should lie with the MDOT, not with private corporate interests. Further, by requiring the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Law to follow the guidelines outlined in the Sensible Transportation Policy Act, the citizens of Maine would be assured that any future PPP project would move forward with transparency, accountability and public oversight. Finally, we are concerned that if PPP projects like the East/West Corridor were built under existing law, the State of Maine would lose control over such projects due to rights of foreign investors to bring suit to protect their rights to future profits. We would, possibly, be handing over valuable assets of the State of Maine and our ability to control them, to foreign investors.
We hope that you will support LD 506 and it’s attending changes to the Public-Private Transportation Partnership Law. Maine citizens deserve public policy and projects that are developed within the framework of our legitimate state government.
William Rowe Thomas Carone Melissa Randall