RUMFORD — At their meeting Thursday night, the Board of Selectmen once again voted to table approval of the Wow Za! Ziplines LLC lease of town property.
In the discussion prior to the vote, Selectman Peter Chase said, “I’m just a little concerned that there’s a push for this at town meeting and now it’s slowed down. I’d like to have this settled as soon as we can. If it takes a special meeting or whatever the case may be, let’s get this done.”
Board Chairman Brad Adley asked Town Manager John Madigan to set about getting the principles involved together at the table.
“I think it’s going to take all of us in a meeting and finally get it settled,” noted Chase.
Selectman Frank DiConzo said, “Last night, I thought it was settled.”
Adley said it appeared to be settled, “but the wheels came off here in the last week for us.”
Selectman Mark Belanger said, “So we’ll have an executive session with everyone about this? I think we should all sit down. We’re all grownups here. Let’s sit down and figure out what’s going on.”
Adley agreed. “Let’s put this to bed and move on.”
The board met on July 7 in executive session with town attorney Jennifer Kreckel to discuss the proposed lease to Wow Za! Ziplines LLC, then a second executive session between the board, the town attorney and Wow Za! Ziplines developers to discuss the proposed lease.
Once back in public session, Madigan said the board did not take any action. However, it had been thought the language of the lease had been developed to the point where selectmen could grant final approval.
On June 9, residents voted 745-505 in favor of leasing three parcels of land along the Androscoggin riverbank so developer Wow-Za! Ziplines can build a zip line park. The lots are on a parcel north of Morency Park on the east side of the Androscoggin River, a parcel across from Rite Aid, and a parcel near the town’s snow dump on Rumford Avenue.
Wow-Za! Ziplines members are Tom Carey, Jim Sysko and Seth Carey, with Jim Rinaldo acting as a consultant.
Rinaldo said Wow-Za! Ziplines has already gained the approval of the Planning Board.
In other business, selectmen approved the $17,400 bid of GMK Construction of Augusta, the lowest of four bidders, for the ADA River Street ramp project bid.
Madigan said the County Court System is making ADA improvements at locations with district courts.
He said the system hired an architect for the project here, which will consist of improvements to the exterior ramp and doors at the rear of the town office. The work includes installing new handrails and railings, automatic door openers, concrete and paving repairs.
Madigan said the town and the county are sharing the cost of the project.
Selectmen voted unanimously to approve Jim Rinaldo as the town’s economic developer.
Belanger said, “Just so people know, he’s not being paid for this. We’re only doing this so he can use the (town) vehicle and get reimbursed for what mileage he had (using his own vehicle). We’re very lucky to have him. He’s been doing a lot of good work and now he should go out and see what happens.”
The discussion giving Rinaldo an official title came up at the July 16 meeting, after he went on a trip to Errol, N.H. to LL Cote, a sporting goods store, to talk to them about building a store in Rumford because so many people from this area go to the Errol store.
Rinaldo, who is paid a small monthly stipend through River Valley towns contributing to the River Valley Growth Council, spends a great deal of time doing economic development work for the area.
Rinaldo used his own vehicle for the trip and board members agreed he should be reimbursed for mileage, which would come out of the town’s community development fund.
Madigan said that with the title, Rinaldo would officially be a town employee and will be able to use a town vehicle for future economic development work.
By a 3-2 vote, the board approved Madigan’s recommendation of reappointing Jennifer Kreckel at the town attorney for the next year. Voting in favor were Adley, Chase and Sterling, with Belanger and DiConzo voting against.