More in News
Rumford welcomes Amato's
Will employ 15-20 people
RUMFORD -- If all goes as planned, an Amato's restaurant will be opening for business by Nov. 1 in the area known as the Gateway Parcel, located across from Hannaford's.
Last Wednesday, town officials, banks, economic and chamber members, joined business partners Steve Roderick and Dave Duguay and their wives for a groundbreaking ceremony. After several comments were made, Andy Levesque, who owns A. J. Levesque Excavating LLC of Poland, started up an excavator to continue work on the site between Waldo and Cumberland streets beside Route 2.
Roderick, who owns the Amato's in Norway, said this franchise business, known for its pizza, pasta and sandwiches, will be a dine-in, take-out 40-seat facility with the possibility of a 15- to 25-person banquet/meeting room downstairs. There will be about 15 parking spots.
Roderick and Duguay said that at its start, this Amato's will not only offer excellent food to the public, but will provide employment for 15 to 20 people.
Roderick said they have plans to do a lot of catering, offer a delovery service and, next year, open an ice cream parlor on the site that will employ another eight to 12 people.
Also on hand was Sen. John Patrick, who noted the importance of adding money to the tax rolls in this tough economic climate, said "This is one of the small steps to make Rumford and the River Valley more attractive to people."
Roderick and Duguay will also use local contractors on this project. They've hired local contractors such as Jim Knight, who will construct the building, Roger Arsenault of Community Energy for plumbing and heating, and electrician Bob Susbury, owner of Mountain Stream Electric Co. of Byron.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Roderick and Duguay presented Rinaldo with a silver shovel for his efforts in bringing this project to fruition.
Rinaldo said that for his part, he put Roderick and Duguay together as well as providing whatever information they needed for the project.
Rinaldo also wanted to recognize Phil Blampied, who initiated the Gateway Parcel project, who also made a promotional video of the project to be view online.
The story with bringing Amato's here actually began when Selectman Jeremy Volkernick contacted Roderick and told him about the Gateway Parcel.
Volkernick said when he became selectman, one of his goals was to bring economic development to Rumford. He had a list of 35 different businesses to call in this effort. Last Sept. 19, Volkernick contacted Roderick, who was No. 4 on his list.
But while Roderick was interested, he said he went as far as he could, but he needed a partner.
That partner proved to be Duguay. The Duguays owned a 100-by-100-foot lot on the corner of Lincoln Avenue (Route 2) and Cumberland Street and Rumford had a tax-acquired lot on the Waldo Street corner.
Duguay, who spent 25 years as manager of the Hannaford store across the street, is now the manager for the Hannaford store in Jay, and also serves as a commissioner for Oxford County.
The two-story project got the green light from the Planning Board on Aug. 3, when it approved the site plan review for Gateway Plaza LLC, which is composed of Duguay and his wife, Patricia, and Roderick, the general manager and owner of Amato's in Norway, and his wife, Sandra.
Following an executive session on May 19 with selectmen, Town Manager Carlo Puiia, town lawyer Thomas Carey, interested parties and Economic Development member Jim Rinaldo, the board unanimously sold the town lot to Gateway Plaza for $22,000, according to the meeting minutes.
Following a second closed-door session that night, the board then approved a request by Gateway Plaza for a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for $45,000 for a 10-year term at 6.25 percent interest.
Duguay said they also got a loan from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and he and his wife transferred their property to Gateway Plaza LLC. Then Gateway Plaza closed on a small L-shaped lot between the two bigger lots.
The block is known as the Gateway Parcel and is one of Rumford's new TIF districts.
Roderick and Duguay will seek a four- or five-year tax increment financing plan, the details of which have yet to be determined by selectmen. Once that's complete, it will be up to townspeople to approve it.
Amato's has restaurants across the tri-state area of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Rinaldo said he is going to be sitting down with Volkernick to compare notes and discussed what kinds of businesses will be a good fit for Rumford. That could be a shoe store, a women's clothing store, a movie theater, etc. "It's a slow process."
Last Wednesday, town officials, banks, economic and chamber members, joined business partners Steve Roderick and Dave Duguay and their wives for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Amato's restaurant, slated to open in November in the area known as the Gateway Parcel, located across from Hannaford's. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)