Mountain Valley Variety planning expansion

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RUMFORD — Mountain Valley Variety is planning an expansion, with the project starting as early as this fall.

Those plans were made possible Thursday evening when the Board of Selectmen voted to accept a $1,000 offer from store owner Richard Breau to purchase the tax-acquired lot at 429 Waldo St. It’s near the back of Breau’s business at 438 Hancock St.

“I proposed to expand my store, put in a foundation, cellar and move everything that I operate from my back room out there,” he said. “Move all my refrigeration equipment and my walk-in freezer and public bathroom, and then, in turn, turn my store 100 percent into selling. I want to offer more variety, more specials and meals, and improve the corner.”

“I’m looking for a helping hand, not a hand out,” Breau said.

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Asked when he was planning to do this work, he said, “At first, I was looking at the spring, but in talking to my construction people, I think we can break ground this fall.”

Fire Chief Bob Chase provided a history, noting that after tearing down buildings on tax-acquired properties at 426, 428 and 429 Waldo St., it was decided by selectmen to hold onto the lot for economic opportunities.

Selectman Peter Chase said this is certainly a business proposal that will increase the tax base for Rumford.

Selectman Mark Belanger made a motion to accept Breau’s offer.

Town Manager John Madigan suggested the board amend the motion to include abating the taxes ($3,325) and outstanding sewer liens ($1951.47) owed on the property, with the $1,000 to go toward them.

Selectmen voted 5-0 to do so.

In other business, selectmen again tabled approval of Wow Za! Ziplines LLC lease of town property.

Acting Chairman Jeff Sterling said selectmen met with the town attorney and Wow Za! Ziplines developers to discuss the proposed lease for nearly three hours Wednesday evening.

“We agree in principle, but we’re not voting until we get the final language,” he said.

On June 9, residents voted 745-505 in favor of leasing three parcels of land along the Androscoggin riverbank so the developer 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 gotten Planning Board approval.

Sterling said that a section of the old Rumford Point bridge came down Thursday. “It was certainly noticeable. It won’t be long now.”

Madigan announced the state will be doing maintenance work on the Haverill Bridge, which is posted for 10 tons.

Belanger asked why there are no working bulbs on Memorial Bridge. “There used to be four (working),” he said.

Madigan said it’s up to the town to replace the bulbs. Road Commissioner Andy Russell said he will check on them.

bfarrin@sunmediagroup.net

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