June 7, 2017
Northern Pass would have a catastrophic effect on North Country businesses
To the Editor:
I hear comments from people that their credibility was challenged at hearings with Northern Pass. I therefore want to outline my background and thoughts about the impact of Northern Pass underground construction. I am an engineering graduate from MIT and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. After some years spent at a small CPA firm in Portland, Maine, I became a partner in a national accounting firm working in both Providence, RI and Jacksonville, Fla. Upon retirement, I became a real estate investor.
During my career, I worked with companies both large and small such as Central Maine Power Company, Winn Dixie Stores and Hanford Bros. and banks of all sizes. I also worked with many businesses that had few employees and sole proprietorships, acting as a consultant to those businesses on issues other than financial statements and income taxes. For example, a client might consider a new location and we would discuss the merits and impact of such a step. My function was always to help a business, no matter how small, to survive.
The impact of Northern Pass, where they will take two years from April through November to lay an electric transmission line underground, will be a catastrophe for North Country businesses. Travel will be restricted to one lane in several locations simultaneously on our country roads. Noise, dust, inconvenience and the unsightliness of it all will have only the most loyal and dedicated patrons taking their business elsewhere and oftentimes, as will be the case for tourists, for good. A rural economy, especially one highly dependent on tourism dollars, cannot easily survive this kind of disruption. There just is never an opportunity to make up those lost dollars given that the project is not designed for the purpose of ultimately bringing more customers to the area. Decreased revenue means decreased value in a business affecting resale. The financial consequence of two years loss of income leads to spending retirement savings, already in short supply where it exists at all.
Yours truly and good luck,