Board OKs new laws, revisions

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RUMFORD — Pending voter approval at town meeting balloting in June, it could be illegal to leave locomotive engines parked and idling within 1,000 feet of a residence for more than three consecutive hours.

That was one of three proposed ordinances selectmen discussed at Tuesday’s ordinance hearing.

During the 3½-hour meeting, selectmen rejected six of 15 proposed amendments to town ordinances and one of the three proposed ordinances.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday that he requested the new locomotive ordinance after receiving complaints from Smith Crossing neighborhood residents upset with practices involving trains at NewPage Inc. paper mill.

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“There have been issues down in Smith Crossing when they’ve parked the trains and left them idling, some for longer than a day,” Puiia said. “Of course, that creates noise and air quality concerns.”

Selectmen agreed, voting 4-0 to accept the new ordinance. Violation carries a minimum fine of $1,000 per offense.

Selectmen also unanimously OK’d an ordinance proposed by the Rumford Performing Arts Committee that will give the committee any money it raises or receives in donations. Currently, that money goes into the general fund.

According to the ordinance, this money will get carried forward into the next budget year and can be used by the committee for future performances, or to make improvements to Rumford Falls Auditorium.

No salaries will be paid from the money.

Should the committee cease to exist, any accrued amounts will go back into the general fund.

The board unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance to regulate yard sales.

Approved amendments include:

• Retrofitting last year’s new sex offender ordinance by following a state law change that bans people convicted of Class A, B or C sex offenses committed against children under the age of 14 from residing up to a maximum 750 linear feet from public or private elementary, middle or secondary schools, or any municipally-owned property where children are the primary users.

Rumford currently prevents such felons from living within 2,500 feet of schools or within 1,000 feet of day care centers and town facilities where children are the main users.

• Making the fire chief — instead of selectmen — responsible for the investigation and enforcement of Rumford’s adopted uniform fire code and life safety code inspection program.

• Excluding the National Fire Protection Association law that requires all new one- and two-family homes to be built with residential sprinkler systems. Rumford previously adopted the NFPA uniform fire code 2009 edition, but didn’t exclude this requirement as did Maine law.

If voters don’t approve this change, the town will have to start enforcing the requirement, which Puiia said will drive up the cost of housing.

• Public hearing procedures and notification requirements for both appellate and planning boards that were inadvertently omitted from the 2002 shoreland zoning ordinance.

• Restricting subdivision developers to one 8-foot parking lane to correct an error in the subdivision ordinance that currently allows for two such parking lanes.

• Giving selectmen oversight of any single item purchases by the town manager that cost $2,000 or more, subject to rewording by the town attorney.

• Giving the town manager the ability to approve private use of town equipment and services.

• Adding modular and mobile homes to the buildings that can be declared unoccupied and abandoned if they are not under construction or renovation for 120 continuous days or more to correct dereliction, subject to rewording by the town attorney.

Additionally it no longer limits sizes of any unoccupied commercial or residential structure determined to be unoccupied or abandoned, to three units or more.

• Making people who advertise charitable events notify the town manager before hanging banners, and that all temporary signs must be displayed on their own stakes. Banner sizes must not exceed 24 square feet.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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