2006 January 27
by Marie Jones Holmes
In an 8-0 vote, with two abstentions, members of the Washington County Economic Development Task Force, at a meeting held January 21, voted to "endorse the responsible development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Washington County."
Three Washington County communities, Calais, Robbinston and Pleasant Point, are proposed sites for the development of LNG facilities. Senator Kevin Raye of Perry, a member of the task force, said when there are three communities eyeing LNG terminals it would be inappropriate to select one.
Members voting in favor of LNG development were Rep. Ed Dugay of Cherryfield, task force co-chairman; Kevin Shorey, task force co-chairman; Rep. Anne Perry of Calais; Senator Kevin Raye; Dianne Tilton, executive director of the Sunrise County Economic Council; Chris Gardner, Washington County commissioner; Cynthia Huggins, president of the University of Maine at Machias; Robert Jamieson of Vicus Technologies, Eastport; and Scott Beal of Domtar Industries, Baileyville. Abstaining from the vote were William Cassidy, president of the Washington County Community College, and David Whitney of Machias. No reasons were given for the abstentions.
In November 2005 a long-awaited report on an economic development strategy for Washington County, prepared by David Flanagan, was released. Flanagan, an attorney and former utilities executive was appointed by Governor John Baldacci to study economic conditions in Washington County. Flanagan came up with a list of 70 topics to be considered by the task force. The 12 sections of the report deal with tourism, tribal nations, second-home development, energy, natural resources, defense and homeland security manufacturing infrastructure, education, financial incentives government organization and a synopsis of recommendations.
Tilton says the task force group has been holding a series of meetings to make comments and suggestions regarding Flanagan's report on economic development. From time to time they have taken votes on various items to ascertain how the group feels on certain issues. LNG was an item that a vote was recorded. Flanagan in his report is supportive of LNG facilities in Washington County.
The task force has also voted to support the Boat School in Eastport, the proposed racino in Washington County and the Downeast Heritage Museum.
© 2006 The Quoddy Tides
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.