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Rumford board adds to proposed economic development budget
RUMFORD -- Due to future economic development that is on the horizon, selectmen increased the funding in the proposed economic development account by $25,000 at their meeting Thursday.
Prior to the action, selectmen had been recommending no funding for the account because $31,000 was being carried forward.
Economic development interest includes a brand name hotel on Route 2, business for the Gateway Project and a proposed call center for the River Valley Technology Center.
Last month, after Town Manager Carlo Puiia explained the need for additional money, the Finance Committee agreed to recommend raising and appropriating $25,000 for Economic Development.
Vice Chairman Jeff Sterling said the board took no action on Thursday night on possibly changing their recommendations on the Assessor and Park and Recreation budgets.
Puiia had asked that they revisit those budgets, because selectmen are to only recommend a bottom line for the assessor budget. The Board of Assessors sets that budget, not selectmen.
When selectmen handled the assessor budget, they voted on line items errantly recommended by Puiia.
Puiia said the Parks and Recreation budget involved a misunderstanding over a contractual agreement with RSU 10.
Sterling said Puiia added two budget items on Thursday night — audit and town solicitor. He believes both will need more money, so selectmen added $5,000 to each.
The annual business meeting will take place on June 6 in the Rumford Falls Auditorium. Townspeople will vote on the budget at town meeting elections June 14.
In other business, voters in June will also determine a proposed ordinance that will permit the town to allocate two-thirds of the annual cable franchise fees to the Western Valley Access Channel, who tapes and broadcasts the selectmen's meeting. As for this year, selectmen approved donating two-thirds of the cable franchise fees to the local access channel, which is around $25,000.
A special selectmen's meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 to vote on whether or not to extend the wind power facility moratorium and if so, how long for that extension. The current six-month moratorium will expire on May 27.
Puiia has recommended that the extension be for 60 days to July 27, giving enough time for the new Board of Selectmen to determine what course of action to take going forward.
Prior to the special selectmen's meeting, a public hearing to extend the wind power facility moratorium will take place the same evening at 6 p.m.