Rumford stops selling Public Works' materials

RUMFORD — A long tradition of selling municipal materials to individuals and other towns ended in June when the town's auditor strongly recommended against the practice.

Auditor Ron Smith of Buxton said the town should discontinue the practice and use such materials strictly for town business.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia doesn't know when the practice began that permitted the sale of sand, cold patch, culverts and other materials to private contractors, individuals and neighboring towns.

Among the issues brought up by Smith was whether or not such materials were assessed sales tax, and how a fair price for the materials was determined.

Puiia said the practice was stopped in June when Smith made the recommendation.

“It was a practice over the past years that was passed on,” he said Friday afternoon.

He said residents may still pick up a pail of sand during the winter months for spreading on their driveways, but that's it.

Smith had also said that selling such materials was competing with private sellers.

The town will continue to sell gasoline to nonprofits such as Western Maine Transportation, the HOPE Association and the Polar Bear Snowmobile Club, under a form of interlocal agreement.

The recommendation arose when Smith conducted an audit of municipal finances for fiscal year 2009-10.

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Comments

Doreen Sheive's picture

continues to amaze me

I am constantly amazed at the unknown practices that happen in local governments. I wonder if the taxpayers are aware of these arrangements. Plus, if a local government is going to have an interlocal agreement with certain organizations, what about all the other organizations in the town who might want the same agreement? I am aware that there is a benefit to joining forces in the purchasing of certain products, however, this is usually done up front. A local government is the main arm and the other organizations or towns join forces in the bid process and they pay their costs directly to the vendor not through the local government. An interlocal agreement is usually done because the town is providing a service through a contract with another town (e.g. fire protection, ambulance, etc.)not a business. These are all things that the taxpayers need to know up front.

Bob Deschenes's picture

Selling materials

Good call

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