RUMFORD — Selectmen hired a new firefighter Thursday night and agreed to set up a Comprehensive Plan Committee to review the 13-year-old document.
Mike Arsenault, a Mexico firefighter, was hired as a temporary probationary employee to replace longtime firefighter Mark Tripp, who left to join the Auburn Fire Department.
The vote wasn't unanimous. Selectman Mark Belanger said whenever openings occur it is the time to rethink the need for a particular position.
“These are the times to look at restructuring. We keep rehiring and rehiring. The population is getting smaller, and (we) can't keep expecting taxpayers to keep footing the bill,” he said.
Fire Chief Bob Chase said his department is down four positions from three or four years ago.
“At what point will we sit down to discuss level of services?” he asked. “I just need to know what the expectation is.”
Selectman Jeremy Volkernick and others are concerned about the upcoming budget approval season.
“It may pass with flying colors, or we may have to cut drastically,” he said.
The board also approved the establishment of a Comprehensive Plan Committee to review the document and work with the Planning Board. Any recommended changes must be acted on by residents.
Town Manager Carlo Puiia said that vote could come in June or November of 2012. Residents interested in serving should pick up a candidate application at the town office.
Also on Thursday:
* Police Chief Stacy Carter received approval from the board to apply for a surplus Department of Defense vehicle when one becomes available. The Rumford Police Department has received a pickup truck from the program in the past. Another similar vehicle, such as a pickup or a Humvee, is now needed to help with the D.A.R.E. program, drug eradication, roadblocks and other police activities.
* The board approved spending $275 to sponsor a student to attend Girls State, as requested by the American Legion Auxiliary.
* A closed session, with no votes following it, was held to discuss a possible economic development project.