More in Featured
Club working on snowmobile trail into downtown
RUMFORD -- If things go as planned, snowmobilers will be able to drive into the downtown this winter.
Bob Stickney, volunteer for the Rumford Polar Bears Snowmobile Club, told the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 1, "One thing we're trying to add this year is trail to the downtown. We used to have it in years past, but we lost it when the power company changed hands and they closed the trail."
"We're trying to reopen it. This time, we're going to move the trail up to the power line. We're meeting with Brookfield on Thursday and it looks like it's going to be okay with them. If it is, we'll be coming down that road from the power line and across the highway.
What I'd like to bring up with you folks is permission for the riders to park their sleds in that (municipal) parking lot by Agway. We'll be putting up signs, 'park your sleds here.'"
"I've talked with Andy Russell (Rumford Highway Department), assuming we get permission from Brookfield, and the okay from you folks, we're going to open the guardrail that's there to have a line of access, and we need to make sure we have that plowed out; there's a big wide open space for people to come and shoot across the road," said Stickney.
Board Chairman Greg Buccina said this could be a nice economic boost to the downtown and that "we should do anything we can do."
Selectman Jolene Lovejoy said, "I know this has been a long process for you to try to do this. I'm sure at this point, they go to McDonald's and I'm sure other places. It will be nice for them to have the opportunity to come to the downtown, park their machines. Maybe some of them will stay overnight."
Stickney noted that in one case, the Hotel Rumford will have rooms available, which will be placed on the Rumford Polar Bears' website. "We do get a lot of calls for where can you stay overnight."
It's a case to see how it goes before any changes are made.
Selectmen gave their unanimous support of the request.
In a related matter, board unanimously voted to approve a grant application for the Rumford Polar Bears. The grant application is filed to the state through the municipality.
“We have 90 miles of trails that we take care of. The grants we apply for help us take care of those trails," he said.
Stickney reassured selectmen that the grant would bring no financial risk to the town.
“We would handle the paperwork and would do all of the work on the trails,” he said. “We just need you guys to approve the grant application so we can move forward.”
In other business, the board approved holding a special town meeting at 6 p.m., prior to the regular Nov. 7 board meeting, to act on a request by Tammy Witas for non-action by the town to move a structure out of the right of way at 343 Swain Rd.
Louise Horne, representing Witas, said seven feet of the wraparound porch is into the right of way on a corner of the road. A problem is that an effort to being made to sell the property, which is being held up by this issue.
She asked that the town surrender its right of way there, which would “provide the purchaser insurance that they would not lose their porch.”
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said there are plans to improve and remove that corner. “Right of way does not mean that the town owns that section of the road. It means that we have a right to improve on it and make it safer, if necessary. It's the realtor's opinion that this makes the property unsellable."
The board discovered that for the town to surrender those rights, it would have to go before a town meeting.
According to Puiia, if the town were to approve the measure, plans to improve the corner would have to be re-evaluated.