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Rumford zip line by spring?
RUMFORD -- When the idea of zip lines was first presented here, it was only a concept. Now, 10 months in, economic development group Envision Rumford! has a more refined three-phase plan.
Members of the volunteer group's zip line committee (Tom Carey, Glen Holmes, Jim Sysko and Jim Rinaldo) made a 50-minute presentation Thursday to the Rumford Board of Selectmen, prior to the board's regular meeting.
"This area offers a river, a fall and a natural typography that was responsible for our heyday. It offers the same opportunity going forward," noted Carey.
Showing the board and audience visuals of what one would see on the proposed phase one zip line, Carey noted they are looking to establish a 1,280-foot triple zip line starting from Cataract Station (near the town's snow dump) and go under the
Memorial Bridge to an area beside the walking path beyond the Rumford Public Library.
He said there would be two descending lines as well as an ascending line, which would enable someone to actually ride back up the zip line.
Carey said just today, the committee received permission, with constraints, from the Maine Dept. of Transportation, to have zip lines go beneath the bridge.
He said the plans would also call for a parking lot area in the vicinity of the Cataract Station. A shuttle van would be available to shuttle people from the other end of the zip line.
Both ends of the project are on town land. Carey said one question is whether this town land would be available to launch and land. "Are selectmen willing to have a special town meeting to ask voters if they're will to have a private company to lease this land to do this?"
Holmes noted he has had a number of conversations with people who run zip lines who might be interested. "This is going to happen!"
Carey said, "There will be no cost to the town other than proving the lease of the land."
Holmes added, "It would generate tax revenue because it would be for profit."
Sysko said there would be about four to five weeks for construction.
Carey noted, "I'd like to be up and running in time for spring runoff."
No action was taken by selectmen, who had numerous questions such as sustainability, liability, maintaining the current snow dump site and the operation from a business perspective.
However, Selectman Brad Adley said he thought that this first phase was something that was "very doable."
Back in July, Envision Rumford! held a demo dual zip line at Hosmer Field that was 500 feet long.
Carey encouraged people to make comments, suggest ideas or ask questions by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.