Scrambling in Rumford

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Rumford needs a visible, understandable comprehensive plan. Perhaps it should be a regional comprehensive plan. It seems that the voters are often faced with requests to make spontaneous decisions to approve and fund numerous infrastructure proposals. That is not a good way to build an agreeable society.

During January 2007, we have been asked to approve multimillion dollar infrastructure building proposals for the library, Region 9 and municipal building. Everything seems to be urgent, without thoughtful planning about how we should fund the entire package.

In 1998, Rumford citizens developed a comprehensive plan. The intention was commendable, with focus on a broad spectrum of areas for concern (historical and architectural resources, economic development, services, etc.)

Unfortunately, the 1998 comprehensive plan was not used to advance our regional position within the Maine economy. The plan was essentially set aside. Now, we are scrambling to get everything done at once. Many of the projects have merit but share a common theme – to spend taxpayers’ money without looking at the big picture.

Rumford should revisit the 1998 version of the comprehensive plan to create a 2007 comprehensive plan. The plan should reflect our vision and planned initiatives. We must move ahead at a reasonable pace while communicating effectively with the voters. The plan should map out a path that identifies the programs, the viable funding sources and the timing for all initiatives to improve the infrastructure for our region.

A transparent, common sense plan would become the foundation for consensus agreement.

Len Greaney, Rumford

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