March 22, 2016
We invent village zones, talk about bringing in business, have plans for new commercial design standards. What we do not have is a Town of Waterboro. We have an area known a the Waterboro Area. But no real town. There is no downtown to develop. We would first have to make a downtown. Somewhere !
And lots of smaller towns in Maine have similar problems. 90% of the working stiffs in the Waterboro Area get up in the morning and drive to work, in Maine cities and towns. More and more when you ask someone where they are from the answer is ” The Waterboro Area.” Unless you are a real estate agents, and then the answer is the “Waterboro Area”, but NOT Lake Arrowhead!
We have clutches of churches, Mom and Pop stores, developed clusters, a water tower, a townhall, a Transfer Station, even a fire department. But they are spread out around the Waterboro Area. Coffee drinkers meet at Mom and Pops, Dunkin Donuts, Aroma Joe’s, Waterways. Lakeside. But, once again these are spread out over the Waterboro Area.
We need business to come into town, into the Waterboro Area. Oh, but not in my end of town! WE had a “golden Triangle” to develop running from Rt 5, down Alfred Road, and back along Rt 202. Filled with now two schools, a Town Owned Park, and now being filled with storage units, a dance studio, Friendship Park that is so valuable the Town Fathers wouldn’t even kick up enough money to help finance sidewalks.
The Waterboro Area: we can’t even support a local newspaper. Ours used to be called the Waterboro Reporter. Now it covers the Waterboro Area. Count the ads in that paper plus the Shoppers Guide, and you’ll discover the majority of them are from the Waterboro Area, ie York County.
And last , but not least, ask kids where they are from a few years after they graduate high school. The answer is generally Massabesic, not Waterboro.
It is a nice area. It just isn’t a town anymore.