Support Black Mountain funding
To the Editor:
As a citizen, former Finance Committee member (former chairman) and Rumford taxpayer, I want voters to be aware of a couple of facts pertaining to the funding of Black Mountain of Maine.
Three years ago, when they came before our Finance Committee with their request, I asked them if they could add any fundraisers to help with reducing the amount that was being asked for each year. In turn, Black Mountain added three hill climbing competitions on their slope for the snowmobilers the following year.
This was very successful and raised money for the mountain and that season they came in asking for less money than the year before. Again, this past year, they held more of these events and it has been very successful in raising their revenues. I personally feel that they have done what was asked of them and we need to support them as best we can as a community.
In a time when all we hear is how our youth has and is becoming a generation of couch potatoes spending too much of their time on their computers, Game Boys and other electonic devices, they are not getting out and obtaining the exercise necessary for a good, healthy lifestyle. I feel this is not the time to be adding to this problem by taking away a good, wholesome outdoor activity that this community affords to our youth.
Another point is that many communities pay a sizable fee to advertise their community along the Turnpike and other major roadways for economic development. Here, we have a major advertising source that other communities do not have. This is done by hosting national ski events, college winter carnivals and high school competitions that give Rumford positive exposure throughout the northeast, the U.S. and beyond. If we were to try to duplicate this advertising, the cost would be staggering.
We get a lot of bang for our buck from Black Mountain and those of us who volunteer at the Rumford Information Center hear on a consistent basis what an asset we have in Black Mountain right here in our own back yard.
Black Mountain also brings in considerable amounts of outside dollars for many of our local business establishments that would otherwise not be spent in this community.
In summary, although I'm a senior on a fixed income and not a skier, I very much support what is being done at Black Mountain and would hope we continue our history of funding the fine program for citizens and youth of the area. I urge the voters of Rumford to join with me in supporting the funding need for Black Mountain and vote to fund their request.
Ronald M. Russell,