MEXICO – A monument honoring long-time firefighter Harding Wentzell will soon be erected at the Mexico Fire Department.

Firefighter Jack Arsenault told selectmen Wednesday night that plans are in the works to install a granite stone with Wentzell’s name etched in it. The Mexico Firemen’s Relief Fund will pay for the monument.

Wentzell, 81, is the first Mexico firefighter to die in the line of duty. He suffered an apparent fatal heart attack on May 5 when he responded to a call in downtown Rumford. He joined the fire department in 1980.

The department has already planted an evergreen tree and flowers at the site the monument will be placed. The stone, expected to be installed within the next few weeks, will appear similar to one placed at the Rumford Fire Department honoring a member of that department who died in the line of duty more than 25 years ago.

Arsenault said enough space will remain on the new monument to accommodate additional names if needed in the future.

In other matters, the town will participate in the River Valley Business Expo planned for Sept. 26 and 27. Rosie Bradley, president of the River Valley Chamber and a member of the Expo’s organizing committee, outlined the plans for the region’s first-ever business and community exposition.

Town Manager Joseph Derouche said the municipality will likely partner with the Mexico Historical Society on a exhibit showcasing the town.

Also on Wednesday, the board:

• appointed Dixfield Police Department officer Jeffrey Howe as a reserve officer for the Mexico Police Department.

• approved 10 victualer’s licenses, one hawker’s and peddler’s license and one liquor license. The liquor license was granted to Clarence T. Tompkins who is the new owner of Shooter’s. Tompkins has renamed the bar and grill, located on the Roxbury Road, as Tommy Guns Pit Stop.

• set a public hearing for June 11 to hear comment on a proposed change in allowable parking time for a portion of Main Street.

Following the public portion of the meeting, the board entered into three closed sessions. These dealt with the town manager’s job, the highway and police union contract, and a police department legal issue.


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