RUMFORD — Voters Tuesday approved borrowing a total of $2 million for a downtown infrastructure project and buying hundreds of streetlights and converting the fixtures to LEDs.
Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde said residents voted 770-361 to authorize the town to enter into a loan of $1.38 million at 1.5 percent interest. The money, which is from the 2017 Clean Water State Revolving Fund, would pay for replacing water and sewer mains in the downtown business district on the Island, and sidewalk and other improvements.
By a vote of 707-418, residents authorized the town to enter into a loan for $700,000 at 2.3 percent interest from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also for the business district.
The work is to begin in 2018.
Town Manager Linda-Jean “L-J” Briggs said last month, “These two loans are vital to doing the full project. This project is the catalyst to economic development here in town. It really is.”
In June 2016 voters approved borrowing up to $2 million from the Maine Bond Bank for the Island projects and spreading payments over 15 years.
An article authorizing the town to buy 648 streetlights from Central Maine Power and covert the fixtures to LEDs won, 989-146.
The project is estimated to cost $345,000 and save around 67 percent of annual streetlighting costs and save about 85 percent over 3½ years in annual electricity costs, from around $93,405 to $19,403, including fixture maintenance.
“It’s a huge, significant savings,” Briggs said last month.
The project will be completed within a year, she said.