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Question for Lincoln Avenue extension
RUMFORD -- By a 3-1 vote, selectmen Thursday approved a request by resident Emile Barre for a non-binding question on the the warrant before voters on June 12 which asks the following: "Would you support road construction by the Public Works Department to build an extension of Lincoln Avenue of approximately 930 feet to connect to the Spruce Street at a cost of approximately $300,000 to the Town of Rumford for the road construction?"
A request to place a non-binding question on the same issue, but for $250,000, was placed on the 2010 town meeting warrant. That was voted down by 1,045 to 590.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the $300,000 figure was very cautious as that area, termed a paper street, has not been engineered and there are water issues in that area.
Barre acknowledged that this question was soundly defeated in 2010, but that was before the bridge washed out last fall by Tropical Storm Irene.
Selectman Brad Adley, who did not support the request, said that public works needs to work on the business park.
Selectman Jolene Lovejoy said the extension “would alleviate a lot of traffic in the residential area.”
Selectman Jeff Sterling said he was supporting the request, with the understanding that "if this goes down again, that's it."
In other business, as mandated by town ordinance, two-thirds of the cable franchise fees from Time Warner to Rumford will be given to support local access channel WVAC TV 7. That amounts to $26,694.51, according to Puiia.
In addition, WVAC representative Len Greaney requested an additional $10,000, most of that to replace an eight-year-old video-programming unit. He said the updated machine would enable programming to take place from a residence instead of from their office at Region 9.
Puiia noted that some of the $13,300 balance of the franchise fees will be going towards a new sound system for the town auditorium. "This will result in a dramatic improvement in the sound here."
Greaney then said perhaps they could hold off on some of the equipment requested, or ask to see what the other six towns served by WVAC would be willing to give in support.
Board Chairman Greg Buccina said he didn't feel this equipment was critical for WVAC this year, so maybe they could hold off consideration of additional monies until Greaney explores what the other towns would be willing to provide.
Lovejoy moved to table the additional monies, which was seconded and approved.
The board unanimously approved a credit-enhancement agreement with Gateway Plaza LLC, doing business as Amato's.
The agreement, a tax-increment financing plan, requires Gateway Plaza to pay percentages of its yearly tax for five years. From year six and annually thereafter, the company would pay the full amount.
“If we didn’t do a TIF, their tax would be $11,250, based on a $500,000 project,” said Puiia, who told the board that the TIF projection should be a percentage schedule rather than a monetary schedule.
Lovejoy motioned that year one (next year’s taxes) would be paid at 5 percent of normal rate, year two at 22 percent, year three at 40 percent, year four at 58 percent and year five at 76 percent. It was seconded and approved by a 4-0 vote. Selectman Jeremy Volkernick was absent.
“This is not a gift,” said Adley.
Selectmen also unanimously approved entering a fire protection agreement with Oxford County commissioners for Milton Township, for which the county would pay Rumford a fee of $5,000.
Previously, Rumford firefighters have protected Milton on a cost per service basis, Fire Chief Bob Chase said. Now, however, the county wants to budget for the service by paying a flat fee.
When asked by the board if $5,000 would cover it, Chase said it would. Last year’s cost was $2,519 and the year before, it was $3,612, he said.
Selectmen also learned that should they wish to renegotiate the fee, they can opt out with 90 days notice.
There was a concern on the board expressed last meeting about why a couple of local vendors were not contacted regarding a bid opportunity by the town. It was an oversight.
In a discussion on the purchasing policy, Selectman Jolene Lovejoy suggested the that once a year, the town provide people with the opportunity to be put on a vendor's list instead of having the town have to seek them out.
In this way, people can let the town know what they have to offer. In Rumford, policy is that they go out to bid for items over $2,000.
A new crosswalk was approved to be painted between the two entrances to Fitch Engineering, crossing Prospect Avenue to Yvonne’s Car Wash.
The board approved a request by Richard Coulombe to have a crosswalk painted on Prospect Avenue between the two entrances to Fitch Engineering, crossing over the Yvonne's Car Wash, which is a bus stop for a number of children.
Approved was adoption of the Oxford County Maine Hazard Mitigation Plan 2012 update. It was explained that the plan identifies areas that are problematic with flooding. If any of these areas are damaged, federal and state monies will pay for 100 percent of the damage.