Responding to your article published on Feb. 9 titled, “Houses behind jail eyed for Augusta courthouse parking,” I must offer my input since apparently none of our city councilors is thinking about the most vital issue our city faces — lack of safe, low-income residential housing!

How can our public officials even entertain the idea of demolishing more residential homes to make a parking lot without comparatively replacing those dwelling units? There is a perfect location for that parking lot or another parking garage on the old YMCA building site at the corner of Winthrop and State streets. That parking garage could be connected to the old or new courthouses by a catwalk or an underground tunnel, both of which already exist in our local government structures.

This property is already cleared and ready for construction and would save huge amounts of money for this project’s bottom line. There are no buildings to purchase, no people to relocate, no structures to raze and no cleaning to perform. All the city needs to do is purchase the property or exercise eminent domain over that property for the greater good of the public, if necessary, which it is likely to do on Court Street/Perham Street if push comes to shove.

The article also does not mention that those four buildings are capable of housing at least 20 people or where future tenants of 32 Court St. will live.

We all need to stop thinking about making more business and start thinking about making more peace, which is not going to happen by destroying four residential homes without replacing them with comparable new buildings that will house the same number of people.

How is any of this OK with Augusta residents?

Gina Turcotte, AugustaFounder and presidentMaine Tenants Justice League

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