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New police cruiser for Rumford
RUMFORD -- At their meeting Thursday, selectmen approved the low bid of $21,184 from Quirk Auto for the town to purchase a new Dodge Charger police cruiser.
Police Chief Stacy Carter said this will replace a Crown Victoria cruiser with 113,000 miles. He said the department presently has three patrol cruisers, which rack up 30,000 to 35,000 miles per year, along with two cars for the detectives and one for the chief.
Carter said the six-cylinder Chargers work fine for police cruisers and get 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
In other business, Town Manager Carlo Puiia announced that the town has received an additional check of $83,169 from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) as a result of damage caused on August 29 from Tropical Storm Irene.
Selectmen awarded the bid for wood harvesting a 43-acre of town land in the Franklin Annex lot to Kenrick's Logging on Rumford. From among six bids (one disqualified), Kenrick Thibodeau submitted the high bid of $19,080.75 to the town.
Normally, the lowest bid is usually chosen in the bidding process, but it's the opposite with timber harvest bidding.
“We're going to get reimbursed for the wood that is harvested, so we're not looking for the lower number, we're looking for the higher number, which is what this individual is going to pay us to harvest trees on town land,” Puiia said.
The work will begin next month. Doing the selective cut will free up space for quality trees.
Selectman Brad Adley asked town forester Brian Milligan the value of the land with standing timber on it.
Milligan said he isn't an appraiser and didn't know.
“The wood lot has a fair amount of value right now, but a harvest isn't going to have that big of an impact,” he said.
“Right now, it's overstocked and we're losing wood and that doesn't really contribute much to the property.”
The goal is to remove poor-quality and dying trees while favoring red oak and other quality trees. The harvesting activity will follow Maine's Forestry Best Management Practices.
When Board Chairman Greg Buccina asked about the type of harvest, Milligan said it would be a partial cut.
“We're shooting for 40 percent removal. I guess you'd call it a selective harvest. The wood that we're looking to take out is lower quality as far as value.”
Adley said that about three or four years ago, town meeting voters wanted timber harvested on town lots.
Despite that, he said he doesn't think Rumford should be in the land ownership business. Instead, he wants the lots back on the tax rolls.
Milligan responded, “The stands are overstocked. They need some attention.”
Auditor Ron Smith presented a report on the audit for the fiscal year completed on June 30, 2011.
Reiterating the results he found in the previous year's results, Smith said the Town of Rumford is "still is strong financial condition."
He said the town has $6.1 million in surplus, including $3.3 million as undesignated.
Noting that with the mill going through Chapter 11, Smith said the town has put itself "in good position to weather this storm. We're optimistic by what we see."
Action on the audit was tabled until board members had a chance to look over the report. Selectmen will likely accept the report at the next meeting on Dec. 15.
As for the planned shifting of the centerline on Hancock Street to restrict parking to the east side only instead of both sides, Puiia said that's not going to happen because the company that does it stowed their gear for the winter.
Instead, "No Parking" signs will be placed along the west side of the road.
Puiia said there will be a goal-setting workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Rumford Falls Auditorium. Following that, there will be a discussion with Fire Chief Bob Chase regarding the scope and role of the fire department.
Approved was a parade permit for the Rumford Hospital Christmas Caroling, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on Franklin Street.