RUMFORD — A Maine Department of Transportation crew is checking why the four-way traffic signal at Portland and River streets isn’t working correctly.
The signal used to allow Portland Street traffic to pass without stopping, while a flashing red light would stop traffic on River Street. However, for many months now, it’s been a stop signal with flashing red lights on all four sides.
At Thursday night’s board meeting, selectmen discussed whether to get the signal fixed or remove it and install four-way stop signs at the intersection beside Memorial Bridge over the Androscoggin River.
Town Manager John Madigan had Public Works Superintendent Andy Russell look into it. Russell had an electrician check the wiring, which was fine. The problem, Russell said, is a control board processor that needs to be replaced for $250.
Selectman Frank DiConzo said that now that drivers are used to the traffic flow change, why not make it a four-way stop.
Madigan suggested waiting until MDOT makes a recommendation based on its study. Selectmen took no action.
In other news, Madigan said Rumford’s longtime Med-Care Ambulance board representative Duane Phelps has resigned. That means there’s a two-year unexpired term up for grabs.
Madigan said there’s a three-year unexpired term open on the Finance Committee. People interested in either are to notify the Town Office before Jan. 20.
The board voted unanimously to accept a bid from Fire Tech & Safety of New England in Winthrop for $3,075 for 15 new Scott AV3000 self-contained breathing apparatus masks for the Fire Department. Up to $2,000 will be covered by a Maine Municipal Agency safety grant, fire Chief Bob Chase said.
Selectmen also accepted one bid for town property and denied another. Madigan said Clyde Wardwell Sr. bid $1,200 for 614 Prospect Ave., which has $2,641.80 in back taxes owed for 2012-14.
Richard Scagliola bid $100 for 41 Lochness Road in the Brick Park Neighborhood. Madigan said that property was acquired in 2009 and has $1,286 in back taxes owed for 2009-11. However, he said the town didn’t place any minimum bid requirement on either property when it readvertised them after receiving no bids the first time.
Madigan said the town treasurer would apply the accepted bid payments to the oldest assessed taxes and the rest would be written off.
Wardwell said that if the board accepted his bid, he would bring the building up to code and put it to use. He said he and his crew have fixed about 18 buildings so far.
When asked how soon he could bring it up to code, Wardwell said about a month. Selectmen, however, gave him six months after Madigan said it would take him a month just to get the paperwork done and a deed back from the county. The board accepted Wardwell’s bid by vote of 5-0.
Madigan read the letter from Scagliola, who wasn’t present. Scagliola said he would make 41 Lochness habitable and move into it.
Selectman Brad Adley motioned to accept Scagliola’s bid. It was seconded by Chairman Greg Buccina. However, Selectmen Mark Belanger, Frank DiConzo and Jeff Sterling voted against it but didn’t give any reasons.