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Dual zip lines ready to go for July 4th
RUMFORD -- Despite some challenges for Envision Rumford, the demo dual zip lines at Hosmer Field will be ready to go for the Fourth of July.
Tom Carey of Envision Rumford said the zip lines, permitted by the Fire Marshal's office, will be open to the public between noon and 6 p.m. during the River Valley Fourth of July celebration. There will be double zip lines anchored from the Hannaford parking lot and beyond the right field fence with all riders to travel within the Hosmer Field complex. The lines will not carry riders over fences.
"This is a great opportunity for the community to take a look at and experience zip lines. Imagine what it would be like to travel zip lines almost 10 times the distance over the falls, down the river and under the Memorial Bridge," noted Carey.
The fee will be $5 per ride. The weight range is 70 to 270 pounds and the minimum height is three feet. Harnesses, trolleys (pulleys) and helmets will be provided. There will be a number of adult harnesses and at least one child harness.
Releases will be required. Drivers licenses will be needed for proof of age. Adults must sign for minors.
Zip line t-shirts will be sold on site.
Carey noted that Volunteer runners are needed to shuttle the gear back to the launch from the landing area. Qualified volunteers will be given a zip line t-shirt and free zip line rides which do not unreasonably interfere with the use by a paying patron.
At their meeting Thursday, the Board of Selectmen, with the okay of Andy Russell of Public Works, approved a request from Envision Rumford for two town trucks loaded with sand as act as anchors for the zip line. The trucks, to be in place July 3-4, will be blocked, with the battery cables removed. An public works' employee is volunteering his time to be around for this.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia noted there is no liability concerns with the town in doing this.
He noted that Envision Rumford has obtained a separate liability policy, with a certificate of insurance to Hannaford and the Fire Marshal's Office.
The trucks will hold the tension in the cables. Envision Rumford Member Jim Sysko, an engineer from Newry who made his own 5,000-foot zip line, indicated that pull could be as much as 5,000 pounds when two heavy people ride.
One of the trucks will be parked in a parking space in the Hannaford parking lot, with the other truck at the turnout beyond the right field fence of the baseball field.
The 500-foot zip line would be launched on the banking beyond the third base line of the baseball field, running to just before the rightfield fence. When not in use, the half-inch cables will be at least 30 feet above the ball field over home plate and 10 feet up as they pass over the right field fence near the foul pole.
Plans for permanent zip lines over Pennacook Falls and under the Memorial Bridge are currently running into roadblocks as both Brookfield Power and the Maine Dept. of Transportation are presently against the idea.
Envision Rumford members agree that zip lines would attract recreation to this area, making it very important economically.
Carey said this zip line, which would be world class, would be unique in its proximity to Rt. 2 and the business district.
He added, "There are roadblocks. We'll try to knock them down. Until every stone is turned, we're not going away."
In another matter involving Envision Rumford, there will be Rally Fridays at area restaurants with each showcasing their zip line theme offering such as a drink, appetizer, ice cream, etc.
The tentative schedule is: 4 p.m. this Friday at Hotel Rumford; 4 p.m. on July 6 at Gatch's; 4 p.m. on July 13 at Brian's Bistro; 4 p.m. on July 20 with a rally and zip line update at Carey's at 228 Isthmus Rd.; and 3 p.m. on July 27 at Scoops.
Rep. Matt Peterson (left) and John Butera, Senior Economic Advisor for Governor LePage's Administration pose with this large poster, signed by a number of Rumford businesses, inviting Gov. LePage to attend Rumford's Fourth of July celebration on July 4th.