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Trees taken down on Congress Street
RUMFORD -- Over the course of two days recently, Public Works took down the remaining 11 or 12 trees that had stood along Congress Street for the last 30 years or more.
What was left was orange cones over the stumps, leaving people and shoppers wondering what the next will be.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said the landscaping here will be in a period of construction as the Board of Selectmen decide what they want to be.
But one thing was clear; the trees needed to come down. "We're all reluctant to want to do this, but these had to come down."
Puiia said not only were roots of these trees becoming an issue by lifting the cement pads of the sidewalk, resulting in several falls by pedestrians, but the invasive roots also impacted the sewer lines, which affected businesses. He said sewer line work is very expensive as it involving opening up the road.
Over the course of the winter, selectmen will search to find a suitable species of trees for the downtown. Puiia said they will look at what other towns have done with trees in their downtown. He added that Envision Rumford! volunteers will be working with the downtown plan as well.
Further, the town manager said there is money for major sidewalk work in the downtown next summer, provided that Public Works does not have a sewer project or other major project crop up. Consideration will be given to replacing the cement sidewalks with pavement.
One positive result of removing the trees is that now it will be much easier for the sidewalk plow to work in the downtown. And yes, the stumps will be removed as well.