RUMFORD — Following an executive session Thursday night to discuss an economic development matter, selectmen authorized Town Manager Carlo Puiia to draft a letter of support from the town to Bangor Natural Gas Co.
Puiia said Bangor Natural Gas General Manager Jerry Livengood sought support from the board for a project to bring natural gas lines into Rumford for commercial and residential use.
"It's still speculative at this time," Puiia said of the project, which could happen next year or within the next five years.
Livengood, he said, will be making a presentation to the company's board about bringing natural gas to the River Valley.
"They have reviewed the town and they believe that it's a potential site to list as a future project, so the board wants me to draft a letter of support," Puiia said.
In other meeting news, selectmen tabled approval of a stump-grinding bid to take care of the unsightly large stumps lining Hancock Street. They asked Puiia to readvertise and seek more bidders, he said.
The board also tabled a request from Envision Rumford to close a portion of Exchange Street for its Pumpkin Fest debut in October. Envision Rumford is the group that's trying to bring zip lines to the downtown area.
Presenter Jim Rinaldo suggested approval be tabled until they can return with a more definite plan.
Initially, the group sought to have the festival held Oct. 27, but moved it back to Oct. 20 so it wouldn't conflict with an away high school football game, Puiia said.
They are also seeking temporary closures of other downtown streets during certain times for festivities.
One is a car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on River Street. Puiia said Envision Rumford wants to use the parking-area side lining the Androscoggin River bank to enable traffic on the one-way street to continue.
Puiia said they want to close Exchange Street from 2 to 4 p.m. between Congress and Canal streets to use the parking area on the canal side for events to attract young adults and adults.
Selectmen agreed to appoint former Farmington firefighter Scott Baxter as a utility firefighter. Puiia said it would save the town $2,719 in overtime costs annually and provide a fourth man in the station when he's not filling in for others out on vacation or sick time.
The board heard an update from Public Works Superintendent Andy Russell on the Prospect Avenue Sewer Repair project. He also said that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has decided not to penalize the town for sewage that was inadvertently pumped on a neighbor's property at the start of the project.
Puiia said Russell will return to a future board meeting and provide an itemized cost for the project to repair a broken sewer pipe and manhole that took much longer than usual, because it was within a huge aquifer.
The work site needed to be stabilized to protect workers and groundwater pumped out, forcing Russell to hire outside contractors.