The following letter was written when the Rumford Public Library Growth Committee had been assured that the USDA application for funds was on the Board of Selectmen’s meeting agenda for April 15. We learned late on April 12 that it is not. We hope selectmen will yet agree to take advantage of a one-time opportunity to win federal assistance for the library.
As members of the Rumford Library Committee, which has been working for nearly a decade to analyze the best possible future for Rumford’s library facility, we ask the Rumford selectmen to approve the town’s applying for federal assistance through the USDA. The assistance package could bring more than $2 million into town for a library project.
The board — and the community — needs to recognize that a vote to proceed with the application is not a vote about where or what the library should be.
A yes vote on the USDA application process means we can win federal assistance for the library — money that the town cannot provide.
If the town’s application is approved, the town can change the scope of the project (and the amount of assistance), or the town can turn down the money (without penalty) obligated by the USDA. The application is nonbinding.
The money available in the present federal budget will almost certainly not be available in the new fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1.
We ask the board to reconsider and support the USDA application process.
Brenda Sassi and Linda Macgregor, Rumford
For the Rumford Public Library Growth Committee