Rumford board updated on business park marketing, tables action on truck

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RUMFORD — Five hundred light industrial companies in the Northeast will soon receive fliers touting the benefits of moving to the Puiia Business Park.

Another 2,000 light industrial companies in the Northeast will also receive the fliers within five months, Jim Rinaldo of local economic development group Envision Rumford! told selectmen Thursday night in an update on the project to grow the park off Route 108.

Rinaldo said 500 fliers a month for five months would be sent to businesses.

After the first 500 fliers are sent, Rinaldo said he will wait 10 to 12 days before calling the businesses one at a time to answer any questions they may have. He intends to make 15 to 25 calls a day per week and create a spreadsheet that details who was contacted and what was said.

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In addition to flier distribution, Holmes said they will advertise a “request for qualifications” and advertise the Puiia Business Park in the New England Real Estate Journal.

Rinaldo and Glen Holmes, director of the Western Maine Economic Development Council, previously explained their marketing plan for the park to selectmen on Dec. 19. At that meeting, selectmen unanimously voted to support a plan drafted by the two organizations to help market the park.

Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina asked Rinaldo if the town needed to do anything tp enhance the process.

Rinaldo said the town should do some roadwork at the park because the business lots are lower than the road and need to be brought up to grade. He also recommended that the town pave the entrance road off Route 108 into the park.

Additionally, Rinaldo answered a question from Selectman Brad Adley telling Adley that selectmen haven’t listed any prices per acre yet for the lots.

“I’m sure the first thing (business owners) are going to ask when we contact them is, ‘How much do you get for an acre?'” Rinaldo said.

Rinaldo said should owners want to negotiate on prices, he and Holmes will tell them they cannot negotiate on behalf of the town.

Rinaldo said he would like to get a ballpark figure from selectmen that’s negotiable for the lots.

“You should have a cost or price in mind and give it to us,” he said.

Selectman Jolene Lovejoy said officials need to start calling the business park by its name: The Puiia Business Park rather than the Rumford Business Park.

Buccina said the board needs to do whatever it can to improve the park’s appearance and get infrastructure going for the lots to make them more saleable.

Lovejoy suggested that selectmen hold a workshop to discuss setting prices and handle other details.

Town Manager John Madigan suggested that selectmen contact Rumford’s appraisers for prices for commercial real estate.

Buccina said the property must first be assessed.

In other business, selectmen tabled action on the Parks and Recreation Commission request to replace a one-ton truck with a three-quarter-ton truck following a discussion with commission Chairman Dan Richard. 

Richard said he was appealing the board’s action in November to have Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mills get quotes to repair the truck.

Richard said the department has the money in its capital budget to buy a new truck and should be doing that rather than trying to repair a nearly 14-year-old truck.

Buccina told Richard that selectmen previously approved repairing the truck, not replacing it. But because of confusion on the board’s part about its actions, however, the matter was tabled to give Madigan time to determine what actually transpired.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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