RUMFORD – Eight new or revised ordinance proposals were reviewed Tuesday night, but a vote to put them on the June town meeting warrant was tabled.

Only three of five selectmen attended the ordinance meeting in the municipal building auditorium, where about two dozen people assembled to discuss the proposals. Town Manager Len Greaney said Selectmen J. Arthur Boivin, Brad Adley and Robert Cameron agreed not to vote to accept the ordinances until next week’s ordinance meeting when board members Mark Belanger and Frank Diconzo can attend.

Topics proposed for new ordinances or ordinances for which revisions were sought include the following: public safety officer, selectmen meeting agendas, franchise fees on cable television, political signs on town property, junkyards, life safety building codes, preventing convicted sex offenders from living near schools, and banning blockage of hydrants with plowed snow.

Greaney said a current ordinance states that the public safety officer must be the current police and fire chiefs. Since they’re two different people, selectmen previously hired police Chief Stacy Carter to be the public safety officer. That ordinance needs to be revised, he added.

Resident Kevin Saisi asked for an ordinance that would require selectmen to issue their agendas to the public three days before their meeting and to “freeze” the topics to prevent last-minute changes.

Greaney said Saisi also wanted a regulation for cable franchise fees.

On political signs, Greaney said he and selectmen do not want to see political signs or banners placed on town property. They also want to restrict sizes.

“Another problem we have to do something about is the junkyard syndrome,” he said, referring to cluttered and unsightly yards in town.

And, since town officials have started a townwide apartment-building and housing inspection process to bring structures up to code or close them up and demolish them, a life safety code ordinance was requested.

“It’s a three-proposal process from which we have to pick one. The first is to repeal the code, which we don’t like. The second is to move to the 2009 version like the (Maine) fire marshal uses, and the third is create our own list of exceptions and go for the 2009 code,” Greaney said.

Rumford uses older international building code regulations.

“We also had a bit of input on creating a sex offender ordinance that would be very similar to what Norway and Sebago have. We would probably plagiarize theirs, because it gives some limits on how close sex offenders can live to schools and exceptions for dealing with grandfathered clauses,” Greaney said.

At the next ordinance meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in the municipal building auditorium, Greaney said selectmen will proceed through the list in summary fashion with town attorney Tom Carey present.

“That way, as long as we can express what we want to achieve, Tom can word-smith it so we can get it on the warrant,” he said.


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