The town of China wants to buy a beach with our taxpayer dollars. Since the opinions welcome at the public meetings appear to be only from those in support of the idea, I will give you mine here.

In 1988, DownEast Magazine rated China as Maine’s dirtiest lake. Twenty-five years later, it’s no better; in fact, I would bet that it’s significantly worse.

I have visit many lakes in New England each summer, and I have yet to see one with water clarity as poor as China’s. Whenever I meet someone and tell them my wife and I own property on China Lake, the response frequently is, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

While spending Other People’s Money is a favorite pastime of government at all levels, I have to wonder what a private investor would do in this situation.

Would an entrepreneur risk his or her own money by buying a piece of land on an algae-ridden, pea-soup-green lake in hopes of attracting paying customers? Apparently not; the property the town wants to buy with our money has been for sale for years.

Given our lake’s poor water quality, I don’t see a public beach as a responsible use of our money. If the town really wants to spend our money on China Lake, it would be better spent on ways to help improve water quality.

Why go to a beach on China Lake when we can drive a short distance to Lake St. George, which is much cleaner? And we can actually see our feet as we wade into the water?

John Henninges


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