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Rumford to darken with removal of 116 street lights
RUMFORD -- In a cost-savings measure, the town has identified 116 street lights that are proposed to be removed.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen Thursday that these lights were not just identified by himself, but were also reviewed by the police chief, the fire chief and the public works director.
"These were not just picked willy-nilly, other than spacing. We tried to leave those at intersections, those near call boxes, fire hydrants," he said.
"If somebody believes that light should remain, they should write a short, descriptive reason why that street light should remain operational; there could be a safety concern or an issue that may have been overlooked." said Puiia, adding that the cost to a person to retain a street light would be around $15/month.
He said people need to let the two office know before they notify Central Maine Power that they want them removed.
Puiia said the removal of these street lights would mean a savings of around $24,000 yearly. There are presently 754 street lights the town is responsible for in Rumford, Rumford Center and Rumford Point.
In other business, an agenda request from Gary Dolloff, director of the Greater Rumford Community Center Board of Directors, to consider a referendum question for the Nov. 5 ballot to provide funding from the Undesignated Fund Balance for 50 Congress St. was asked to be rescinded in person by Dolloff.
Instead, Dolloff said he would be looking in the future to ask if some portion of the town's cable franchise fees could be provided for recreation.
On June 11, voters rejected initiated articles for requests $138,100 for the GRCC and $22,720 for the GRCC summer programs. The town's Charter mandates that while defeated budget articles can come back for a revote, initiated articles cannot.
"We're working diligently to keep the building open. We've raised $16,000 so far and have a couple of grants pending," noted Dolloff.
A donation fund has been set up called "Save the GRCC." If you would like to help, send your check, payable to "Save the GRCC," c/o Bangor Savings Bank, P.O. Box 400, Rumford, ME.
Selectmen approved a request from the Rumford Parks Commission for a skating rink crack sealing bid. That bid was $10,971 from Rhino Seal.
Parks Director Mike Mills said the work carries a two-year warrantee. He said work on the hockey rink, the town's only ice skating rink, has not been done there since it was built in the 1970's. "There's some wide cracks."
Approved was a request from the Maine Dept. of Transportation to approve a referendum question for the Nov. 5 ballot to approve the discontinuance of a portion of upper Congress Street following the completion of the Haverill Bridge Project.
Puiia said the once the bridge is turned into a road, it will be given to the mill. The road would continue to be used by pedestrians who utilize the footbridge.
Resident Kevin Saisi asked if the town will receive anything from the mill in exchange for giving them the land. Puiia responded that "nothing has been offered at this time."
Puiia noted that the benefit to the town is that they would no longer have to maintain that section of road.
The board approved a request by Puiia to place the Comprehensive Plan on the Nov. 5 ballot. People voted "no" on the plan in June, but he felt there was a lack of knowledge involved.
Puiia said there will be no changes made to the plan from when it was presented in June. However, there may be another public hearing to inform the public when is in the Comprehensive Plan.
Saisi, who chaired the Comprehensive Planning Committee, noted that that committee has not disbanded, but he would be willing to present the plan at the public hearing.
Selectman Brad Adley, noting that it's way overdue, ask that the board add to the next agenda the idea of floating a bond for a townwide revaluation.
Selectmen voted to renew the town's mutual aid policy for law enforcement assistance with Mexico, Dixfield and the Oxford County Sheriff's Office. Police Chief Stacy Carter said there were no changes to the mutual aid policy.
The board heard a request from fire Chief Robert Chase about the possibility of repairing the Fire Department's thermal imaging camera. He explained that the camera is an older model and that the price of repairing it may exceed the price of purchasing a new camera.
Chase said his department is borrowing a thermal imaging camera from Andover and will consider using a demo model of a new camera until a decision is made on whether to repair the department camera or purchase a new one.
Selectmen approved moving the Oct. 3 Board of Selectmen's meeting to Tuesday, Oct. 1 to allow town officials to attend the Maine Municipal Association's Annual Convention.