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Every Fifteen Minutes
RUMFORD -- "We're trying to change the culture of drinking and making bad decisions; keeping the community safe."
Those were the words of Rumford Police Sgt. Tracey Higley. Higley, along with Chief Stacy Carter and Mountain Valley High School Asst. Principal Chris Decker addressed the Board of Selectmen here on Dec. 15 about a nationwide community program they're introducing locally called Every Fifteen Minutes.
Every 15 minutes, someone dies from an alcohol-related collision. That program, which will be introduced to students at MVHS, challenges students to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions. It also keys on impacts their decisions will have on family and friends.
Higley said this two-day event does not involve just the police, students and schools. "On a grand scale, this gets parents talking to their kids."
This program, with contration on junior and senior students, will probably be introduced every third year or so. He said about four months of planning will be required, adding that the co-coordinator of the program will be Lisa Russell of MVHS, who suggested the program.
Higley said Every Fifteen Minutes will dovetail on a successful program police and school officials hold each spring called Keeping Students Safe (KSS), which will be in its fourth year here.
Decker said KSS features activities for youngsters to offer alternatives to the spring parties near graduation. Mainstay activities include busing students to Old Orchard Beach with $5 cash in a non-alcohol event, and a bonfire with food provided and prepared by volunteers.
KSS costs about $600 and is made possible through donations. Presently, there is $1,000 for the program.
Higley has been volunteering his time for KSS.
Carter said the Every Fifteen Minutes program will not require any additional cost in manpower. "We have an ungerage drinking grant that could pay for some of the education."
Board Chairman Greg Buccina suggested putting an action item on the next agenda to see if selectmen would like to donate toward this program.
"We're not looking for monies, but if you think this would be worthwhile," responded Higley, who then added, "Anything would help."
In other business, selectmen appointed the following to the nine-person Comprehensive Planning Committee -- Kenrick Thibodeau, Samantha Byam, Jim Windover, Dennis Breton, Rita Aromaa, Frank DiConzo, Peter Buotte, Phil Blampied and Kevin Saisi.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said there's a lot in place in the present comprehensive plan that will not need to be changed, but parts of the 12-year-old plan need to be updated in order for the town to apply for grant opportunities.
Selectmen approved a commercial lawnmower bid of $18,550 for the Parks and Recreation Department. Puiia said the money is in the budget for the purchase of the machine, which replaces one that is 11 years old.
Following Puiia's recommendation, a library eave and soffit repair bid was tabled until references are researched.
The board approved the town audit for 2010-11.
Selectmen also gave approval for the following:
* Taxicab licenses for Road Hog Express, Courtesy Cab and Mountain Valley Taxi.
* A junkyard permit for Olin Bernard.
* Innholder's and victualer's licenses for Sabina Farm Inn on the Ellis River Road and the new Amato’s restaurant on Route 2.
* Liquor license applications for Gateway Plaza LLC (Amato’s), VFW Post 1641, the Eagles and American Legion.
* Special amusement permits for the American Legion and Eagles.