Rumford may boost activity fees

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RUMFORD – Selectmen decided Thursday night that $25 a year was just too little money for itinerant sales people to set up shop and sell their merchandise from carts or trucks.

“It’s time to increase it,” Selectman Greg Buccina said. “These vendors come in and compete with established businesses. It’s not fair.”

The board had planned to act on an increase for hawkers and peddlers, but decided that rather than act on just one type of fee, they should look at all permit fees.

Town Manager John Eldridge said virtually all fees in town, from hawkers and peddlers to building-related permits, are way too low.

“I suggest addressing all of them at once,” he said.

He said the fees are meant to at least partially offset the cost of a code enforcement officer who is responsible for assuring that the requested task or service is aligned with the town’s ordinances.

Eldridge plans to discuss fees with the code enforcement officer, as well as compare Rumford’s fees with those of other towns, compile a list, then bring it back to the board for action.

In other matters on Thursday, Eldridge requested nominations from the public for the annual citizen of the year award. The award will likely be presented in June.

Also, Eldridge said names for two streets in the town’s business park under construction off Route 108 must be named.

Selectman Mark Belanger proposed a tentative plan to work out a deal with the new owners of the former NewPage Corp. power plant to light Pennacook Falls.

Selectmen, the town manager and the town’s lawyer, Jennifer Kreckel, met in a closed session to continue discussion on labor negotiations.

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