Monday, July 21, 2008

Cautious Optimism

At the risk of sounding like a Wall Streeter parsing former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan's every public utterance, here are some quotes in the PPH's article on Saturday about Pike's plans to scrap an expansion of a quarry on Spring Street, while still maintaining its plans for an asphalt plant:

Jonathan Olson, regional manager for Pike: "We're just trying to be conscious about what would be a better proposal over there for the neighbors."

Dick Daigle, facilities manager for Idexx: "I think it's certainly going to give us pause to take a look at what they're now proposing. I think it's going to take us some time to understand the scope of what they're proposing to do. Until we do that, it would be unfair for me to actually identify a position that Idexx will take on this."

Bruce Chuluda, mayor of Westbrook: "I'm not certain how this thing affects or doesn't affect Idexx and Artel and all the other businesses down there. The mere fact that they still want to create a larger presence than they have had is something that's going to raise the ire."

Jerre Bryant, city administrator of Westbrook: It's a good sign Pike has revised their proposal, but "most of the focus that we've heard concern about is the asphalt plant and the increase in truck traffic volume out there."

Since the goal should be for Pike and and its neighbors to remain in the city, the quotes above signal cautious optimism. On the one hand, Bryant is correct that it's a good sign that Pike has introduced a compromise to the situation. On the other hand, though, the endorsements regarding Pike's announcements were less-than-ringing.

- John C.L. Morgan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was little in the press release that actually supports the claim of a smaller footprint, or "scaling back". The proposal still includes an asphalt plant, an expansion of the quarry, and rock crushing and washing operations.

It could be that this latest proposal is less about compromise and more about PR, trying to postion Pike as cooperative without actually giving up anything.

Another twist is that Pike may try to push this proposal through the planning board without a "special exception" application. That would simplify things and give the opponents less opportunity to defeat it at the Planning Board level.