RUMFORD — Envision Rumford's debut Pumpkin Fest got unanimous clearance Thursday night from selectmen to close certain downtown streets for the event on Saturday, Oct. 20.
It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Using a map showing the downtown island, Envision Rumford member Jim Rinaldo said they would like to close River Street and western end of Exchange Street between Congress and River streets from 7 a.m. to about 4 p.m.
They also want to block off the eastern section of Exchange Street from Congress to Canal streets by 1 p.m., because that's when the River Valley Grill restaurant closes, he said.
Rinaldo also asked permission to restrict parking along Canal Street from 7 a.m. until about 5 p.m. but still allow traffic from the Route 108 bridge to the Bangor Savings Bank area.
"So people will be able to drive down through, there just won't be any parking there," he said.
He said that when they stop activities happening on River and Exchange streets by 4 p.m., there will be more activities happening on Canal Street for about an hour.
Rinaldo also asked for three or four parking spots along Congress Street on the Exchange Street end between Exchange and Hartford streets.
When asked by Selectman Jolene Lovejoy if he'd checked with business owners along the affected areas to learn if they are OK with the road closures, Rinaldo said Envision Rumford member Tammi Lyons already did that.
Lyons said the business owners were on board.
"Again, it's a Saturday and there isn't a whole lot of traffic on Saturday on those streets, but we're hoping it's going to cause a lot more traffic on Congress Street," Rinaldo said.
"We hope to generate some extra business for those businesses."
Selectman Brad Adley asked Rinaldo if the Hotel Rumford was involved with the Pumpkin Fest.
"Yes, they're heavily involved with it," Rinaldo said.
Adley also asked if they'd received permission from the Elks, to which Rinaldo said an Elks official told him things don't start happening there until late afternoon to early evening on Saturdays.
"By 4 o'clock, things will be closing there so that street will be opened back up," he said.
"Okay, you've covered your basis, so I don't see a whole lot of impact on any other businesses," Adley said.
Adley then motioned to close the requested streets and parking areas, and the board voted 5-0 to approve it.
Among other business, selectmen:
* Approved a snowmobile grant application for $69,640 to the state of Maine.
* Awarded Community Energy of Rumford the Town Fuel Bid on 25,000 gallons of No. 2 heating fuel, 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and 40,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.
* Appointed Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina as warden and Selectmen Jeff Sterling and Jeremy Volkernick as deputy wardens for the Nov. 6 election.
* Rescheduled the board's Oct. 4 meeting to Oct. 11 because it coincided with the Maine Municipal Convention.
* Approved a municipal quitclaim deed for 217 Pine St.
* Approved a parade permit for the Greater Rumford Community Center Halloween Parade.