Rumford board to discuss new cable TV agreement, TIF districts Feb. 3


RUMFORD — Pending selectmen approval Thursday night of a new cable franchise agreement with Time-Warner, the sound quality in Rumford Falls Auditorium will dramatically improve.

At least that’s the hope, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday.

“One of the key requests that we made was for a very specialized sound system that we’re going to be having installed in the auditorium to improve the sound quality,” he said.

The public address sound and speakers systems are Canfield and Renkus-Heinz, which he said are specifically designed for cathedrals, gyms and auditoriums with poor acoustic quality.

“They can adjust the sound in the tower to minimize any kind of reverberation,” Puiia said.

“Jim Rinaldo and I did a test when they were here and we sat in the farthest seats up in the balcony and we could hear it crystal clear.”


Years ago, the town reserved cable franchise fees to improve sound quality in the auditorium, so there is money available, he said. Selectmen just need to approve the agreement.

“We’re hoping we can get this finalized so we can get the go-ahead to Canfield Systems to install it,” he said.

Another request that Puiia included is to have a live feed to Mountain Valley High School, where town meetings, graduations and other public meetings are held.

Additionally, Puiia said the new agreement leaves the franchise fee percentage the town gets at 3 percent.

Other agenda items for the board’s Feb. 2 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m., include a discussion and possible approval on three proposed tax-increment financing districts, an update from Phil Blampied of the Strathglass Park Preservation Society, and approvals of four quitclaim deeds.

At previous meetings, selectmen tagged three areas in town as municipal development and TIF districts, in which to promote economic development investment.

These are The Gateway Area, which is where the new Amato’s restaurant was built by the Hosmer Fields Complex; The Puiia Business Park, which is on Route 108 coming into town; and The Rumford Falls Entryway.

The latter is the area from just before McDonald’s on Route 2 where the proposed brand name hotel may be built, Puiia said.

“We have to get them prepared, and then have a public hearing and special town meeting to approve them, but the board basically has to approve what’s getting in before we go to that next step,” he said.

“That’s why I put it as approval/discussion, because there may be so much in this that they may want to have a workshop prior to approval. They’re all individual drafts and they may be a lot of information for the board to digest.”

Approvals sought for the quitclaim deeds are for Lot 007 on Map 107 on Hutchinson Avenue, 140 Route 108, 33 Urquhart St., and 109 Wyman Hill Road. Puiia said it’s essentially a municipal housekeeping matter.

“We had actually quitclaimed them earlier, but we found out that for each year that you had a lien, that we were supposed to do a quitclaim for each year,” he said.

“So we’re just cleaning those up and getting them into the hands of the people who have actually already reimbursed the town for any back taxes and interest and fees.”

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