To the Editor:
We have owned a home on the quietside in Southwest Harbor since 1996. We have always had a deep love for the island and the state of Maine because we both have parents who were born and brought up in Maine. As a child, we went to Maine every summer to be with family and friends.
Over the years, we have watched Southwest Harbor become a very vibrant and lovely town while keeping its true demeanor and heart. At times, a bustling village and off season, a nice quiet place to live.
It’s a conundrum we all find ourselves in. While we all want to see everyone succeed, children be educated, business growth, people employed, we also don’t want to see the things that people want to get away from by living in a town like Southwest Harbor. Crowds, traffic, rental increases, noise, increased costs to maintain the town, litter and all the other ills that come with overcrowding and over–tourism.
As a lot of Europe is still closed to tourism, Americans are finding how beautiful their own country is. This summer will be a boon for U.S. tourism with Americans fanning out to the many beautiful areas our country has to offer.
I digress. My point is to encourage all those who live and work around Southwest Harbor to really think about what a 154–site campground in Tremont will do to our town. While some of the campers will eat and shop in town, there will also be a huge increase in sidewalk traffic, and vehicle traffic driving through a town that doesn’t even have a stop light but only a flashing light at the four-corner intersection, waste products galore, increase in garbage and water usage, a burden on our small police force, among the many other issues. Consider the road traffic that all will have to contend with in addition to the stress that will be put on the physical road themselves by large vans, campers and RVs. Some of this will affect those who own or live in Southwest Harbor in a positive way, but most of this will affect all of us in a very negative way.
Those who only visit places are not invested in our town. Year–round residents, rental owners and part–time residents are much more invested in what affects our town whether it be its beauty and charm or significant rise in problems that are not easily solved.
Let’s try to keep the Quietside quiet, charming and trouble free.