Rumford Finance Committee close to agreeing with selectmen on budget

RUMFORD — During the first of two straight nights of municipal budget voting, the Finance Committee unanimously matched their recommendations Tuesday with those of selectmen.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Rumford Finance Committee members Ted Hotham, left, Harold MacDonnell, Richard Greene and Chris Carver vote during Tuesday night's municipal budget session.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Rumford Parks and Recreation Department working Foreman Michael Mills details his five-year plan for Finance Committee members Tuesday night in Rumford Falls Auditorium.

The only exception was paring $2,000 from the Fire Department budget of $724,069.

On March 22, selectmen approved a $7.4 million municipal budget as their recommendation for town meeting in June.

The $7,423,500 is $574,292 more than the current budget of $6,849,208. It doesn't include the county and school assessment.

Unlike selectmen, the Finance Committee can only approve a bottom line, according to the Charter.

Tuesday night's session covered police, fire, code enforcement, parks and Public Works. Wednesday night's session, which begins at 6 p.m. in Rumford Falls Auditorium, will cover the library, town clerk/treasurer, tax collector, assessor, general assistance and town manager/selectmen.

Among the committee's recommendations for the first half of the budget are:

* $802,351 for the Police Department.

* $48,771 for Code Enforcement.

* $196,089 for Parks, $8,200 for skating, and $17,440 for cemeteries.

* $601,222 for winter roads, $311,798 for summer roads, $75,000 for asphalt, $57,194 for Town Garage, and $35,000 for sidewalks.

For summer roads, Superintendent Andy Russell said selectmen included $10,000 to clean up and beautify Hancock Street between Lincoln and Rumford avenues by removing stumps and other materials.

Russell said he also added $35,000 to the sidewalks account to complement $100,000 of carryover, for much-needed work on sidewalks on the island.

Finance Committee member Richard Greene told Russell that he “is really glad” to hear that.

“So you're going to go great guns on this?” Greene asked.

“I hope so,” Russell said.

Under cemeteries, Parks and Recreation Department working Foreman Michael Mills said he increased the budget to replace three flag poles.

One is in Veterans Park at the end of Congress Street, another is at Rumford Center, and the third is at Rumford Point at the intersection by the church.

When asked if Rumford needs to replace all three flag poles in the same year, Mills said, “Unfortunately, yes we do.”

“The one at Rumford Point is real bad and the one at Rumford Center, I don't know how it's even standing,” he said.

The flag poles, Mills said, are like those at the Muskie Memorial Park by the Information Booth.

“I'm going to guess it will be a long time before we have to replace them,” he said.

In other business, selectmen will convene a special board meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, for an executive session for union negotiations. It will be held in the Jury Room of the Municipal Building.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Charter what?

This committee once again is rubber stamping the selectboard recommendations. Will it ever change? I doubt it!

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