Firefighters’ schedule to remain the same

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RUMFORD – Selectmen decided not to request a return to a previous firefighters’ work schedule after reviewing statistics that showed the current schedule saved a small amount of overtime pay.

The decision came following a nearly hour-long closed session devoted to discussing the firefighters’ contract, and a complaint revolving around the Parks Commission.

Town Manager Jim Doer said no details could be discussed regarding the complaint because it was dropped. However, besides the selectmen and town manager, the town attorney, newly appointed Parks Commission member Jason Thompson, and members of the commission took part in the closed session.

During the firefighters work schedule closed session, the fire chief and town attorney joined selectmen and the town manager.

At an early July selectmen’s meeting, newly elected board member Frank DiConzo had requested that the town take another look at overtime figures since the work schedule changed to 24 hours on and 24 hours off, from 10 hour days and 14 hour nights.

Doer said Tuesday that the overtime numbers had actually declined slightly since the new schedule went into effect July 1.

In other matters Thursday, the board continued to fill openings on the town’s many committees and boards.

Former selectman candidate Ron Theriault resigned from his position on the Board of Appeals so he can serve on the Finance Committee. The town’s charter prohibits service on two boards simultaneously, Doer said.

Angie Arsenault was appointed to a one-year stint on the Finance Committee. That committee holds its annual reorganizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26.

Leonard McKenna was appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Appeals; Mary Hickey as health officer; and Duane Phelps to a three-year term on the Med-Care Ambulance Service board.

An alternate position remains to be filled on the Board of Appeals, and a three-year seat previously held by Mary LaPointe on the Med-Care board must also be filled.

All Land Use Ordinance Committee members were reappointed for one year, except Selectman Mark Belanger who chose not to seek another term. In his place, selectmen appointed Brian Fildes. Other members are: Chairman Joseph Roberts, Code Enforcement Officer Rick Kent, Phil Blampied, Louanne Cameron, Jonathan Starr, Dan Garbarini, Brian Milligan and Kevin Knox.

Also on Thursday, the board:

• agreed, on a request by Belanger, to remove a sign designating the town’s new business park off Route 108 until a federal $1.5 million grant comes through.

• lent neighboring Bethel the town’s vacuum truck to help clean up the mess resulting from heavy rains last week, at no charge to Bethel. In a related matter, Chairman Greg Buccina asked the Water District board to provide a report on the ramifications to the town if it should suffer a similar experience to that of Bethel. That report will be made at the Aug. 2 meeting.

• agreed to construct a wheelchair access near the Dunkin’ Donuts shop on Congress Street.

The July 19 meeting was also the first time Doer began taking the minutes of board meetings.

At the July 5 board meeting, a majority of selectmen directed Doer to take the minutes, citing a section of the town charter that states that that is one of the town manager’s duties. For many years, the selectmen’s secretary has taken the minutes at board meetings.

Doer said his notes weren’t as detailed as those previously taken and that sometimes he had to ask selectmen to slow down to make sure everything was taken correctly. He said he had done a substantial amount of homework prior to the meeting so that fewer notes would need to be recorded at the meeting.

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