RUMFORD – Selectmen scheduled a special town meeting next
month to vote to accept a federally-updated flood plain management ordinance and
granted an easement to Central Maine Power Co. in return for more than
$6,000.

Chairman Brad Adley told the board at Thursday night’s meeting
that, according to the state, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had
drafted new changes for the town’s flood plain ordinance which Rumford now needs
to approve.

“This is more an emergency that we need to pass by July 7 or
we will not be able to apply for FEMA money if a disaster hits and, if we don’t,
we could possibly jeopardize flood insurance for our citizens,” Adley
said.

When asked by Selectman Robert Cameron what the changes were, Adley
said he didn’t know because he hadn’t yet read the document.

“When FEMA
updates their policies, we have to follow them,” he said. “There’s not much of a
choice.”

He then explained the updated ordinance as “basically, an
insurance policy.”

Selectmen then unanimously set the time and date for a
special town meeting for 6 p.m. on July 2, an hour prior to their next board
meeting.

In other business, Town Manager Carlo Puiia explained that CMP
wanted an easement along its transmission line corridor through Rumford because
it plans to install bigger transmission lines to accommodate planned wind power
facilities in Rumford and Roxbury.

The power line corridor extends from
Rumford through Roxbury to Rangeley. The power company offered $6,975 for
135,000 square feet or 3.10 acres to widen mostly one side of the 100-foot-wide
corridor by 50 feet.

Paul Fecteau, a licensed Realtor for CMP, said the
company has proposed to upgrade its electricity delivery lines from 34,500 volts
to 115,000 volts. That’s currently pending Maine Public Utilities Commission
approval.

When the new power line is built, the old one will be removed,
Fecteau said.

The offer price includes timber that can be harvested along
the narrow strip.

Cameron, who owns land within the corridor, objected to
the proposal, saying he’d rather see the town sell CMP the land outright than
grant an easement.

Fecteau said CMP doesn’t want to buy the land, which
is owned by 22 different people.

“With an easement, you don’t pay taxes
on it and the landowner would be stuck with it forever and could never grow a
stick of wood on it again,” Cameron said, explaining why it would be better to
sell the land than grant CMP rights to use it.

However, Selectman Mark
Belanger motioned to grant the easement and the board OK’d it 4-1. Cameron was
the lone dissenter.

Following a closed-door session toward meeting’s end,
to discuss a personnel matter with Puiia, police Chief Stacy Carter and fire
Chief Gary Wentzell,

Puiia said selectmen decided against hiring a public
safety director.

Last month, selectmen created the interim position and
had Carter serve it.

Annual town meeting voters then made the position
official through a charter change.

However, Puiia said selectmen decided
they’d rather hire a fire chief than have a public safety director running both
police and fire departments.

The town’s contract with Wentzell, who is
also Mexico’s fire chief, ends this month.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.