RUMFORD – Freshman legislator Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, has sponsored a bill that she and others hope will draw more people to the skiing and tubing opportunities available at Black Mountain of Maine.

With the support or co-sponsorship of eight other Democrats and one Republican, Briggs is asking the Legislature to approve erecting a sign on the Maine Turnpike directing people to Rumford and the ski area.

“It will be beneficial to the area to let everyone know there are not just Sunday River and Sugarloaf, but other ski areas,” she said Friday.

Craig Zurhorst, spokesman for Black Mountain, had asked that such a sign be erected.

“I was driving up the turnpike and noted a number of ski area signs, and I thought of the number of events that we have. I thought we should have one,” he said.

If approved, the sign could be added to signs designating Sunday River or the Rumford-Andover area. The final decision will be up to the Maine turnpike Authority.

“We’re hoping it will be up by next season,” Zurhorst said.

The bill was assigned to the Transportation Committee on Thursday and will be heard within a few weeks. If approved by that committee, the bill would advance to the House, the Senate and finally the governor. Public hearings would be held.

Zurhorst originally asked Rep. John Patrick, D-Rumford, to sponsor the bill; however, the request came too late for introduction this session. He is one of the co-sponsors. Because Briggs is a new legislator who just took her seat Jan. 2, she was allowed to introduce legislation. She is finishing the term begun by Randy Hotham, R-Dixfield, who resigned because of conflicts with his job.

Briggs said she felt honored and grateful to be of help.

“If we can make it a little better known and a little more visible, it may increase traffic,” she said.


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