RUMFORD — Unlike recent meetings, selectmen attending the board's meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, won't lack material to discuss or act upon.
Instead of the usual four or five agenda items under "new business," there are 15. They range from appointing a police officer to approving gear for several new call-force firefighters. Also on the agenda is establishing a Library Improvements Committee and possibly changing a section of York Street by Rumford Elementary School to one-way only.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday that police Chief Stacy Carter will ask the board to hire an officer that he's selected. Puiia declined to name the person.
He said the department has been short since Cpl. Matt Noyes returned from military service in Afghanistan and left to become an Oxford County Sheriff's Deputy. Additionally, officer Ian Theriault left to become a Scarborough police officer and Sgt. David Bean retired in November after a 25-year career.
Puiia said the committee is needed to create short- and long-term goals to bring the town library up to code. Selectmen, he said, are busy with municipal budgets and creating a wind development ordinance.
Last year, selectmen settled years of discussion to either relocate or expand the current library, and then residents at town meeting followed suit, directing selectmen to make necessary improvements, Puiia said.
Issues that need to be resolved involve an elevator, sewer and electrical systems, and installing energy efficient lighting, he said.
The problem with York Street is that it intersects with the side hill of Maine Avenue and the town won a federal Safety Sidewalk grant to install a sidewalk near the school.
“It does not have the best field of vision to exit onto the hill, so I think that ... changing it to one way will improve our safety overall,” Puiia said.
Additionally, he said the sidewalk would render the street too narrow for two-way traffic from Maine to Oxford avenues.
That's why selectmen will schedule a public hearing on the issue at Thursday night's meeting, and then must file for environmental approval of the project.
“People coming from the school side would see a Do Not Enter sign and those coming from the hill can just continue,” if the street section is made one-way only, he said.
“There are six homes in that stretch that would be impacted,” he said. “The residents would have to enter from Maine Avenue and exit down York Street toward Oxford Avenue if they were headed toward the (downtown) island.”
Other agenda items include:
* Making a non-union employee wage adjustment for the 2011-12 budget.
* Listening to Mexico Planning Board member Dr. Albert Aniel make a noise ordinance presentation for future development.
* Suspending the annual spring clean up.
* Discussing the Maine Department of Transportation's limitations for the Route 2 rest area.
* Learning about Med-Care Ambulance's increased assessment from $16 per capita to $18 per capita for 2011-12.
* Getting an update on the unoccupied and abandoned properties' process and the tax-acquired property process.
* The process to recommend making changes to the Town Charter.
* And the abatement of personal property.
Additionally, Puiia said he discovered that the town hasn't followed its Initiated Articles requirements law. Only elected and appointed town officers and qualified town voters can make requests for donations through Initiated Articles.
Should the town start following its own law, agencies wanting donations would have to have these required people make their requests.
An executive session to discuss economic development with Puiia closes out the meeting. No action is expected to be taken on exiting the session, Puiia said.