RUMFORD — To better inform residents about federally-proposed changes in the town’s Flood Plain Management Ordinance, an official with the Maine State Planning Office will be answering questions starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, in the conference room of the municipal building.
“It gives the public a chance to ask questions and look at maps,” Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Tuesday afternoon. “These people work with this all the time.”
The regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting will follow upstairs in the auditorium at 7 p.m.
At 5 p.m. Monday, July 6, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official will field questions about the proposed changes during a public hearing in the municipal building, Puiia said.
That will be followed at 7 p.m. by a special town meeting to discuss possible adoption of the proposed ordinance, Puiia said. Voting will be by secret ballot.
At the June 18 selectmen’s meeting, Puiia said Rumford should adopt the Flood Plain Management Ordinance because residents who require flood insurance would not qualify for it if the town doesn’t approve it.
Additionally, he told selectmen that Rumford wouldn’t qualify for any FEMA money for flooding disasters if the ordinance isn’t passed.
Puiia said Tuesday that torrential downpours from two thunder and lightning storms Saturday afternoon and evening that destroyed roads and a bridge accentuates the need to approve the new changes.
“High Street took pretty heavy damage from it,” Puiia said. “A couple of large sinkholes formed and at one, it crushed a sewer line.”
“There was quite a bit of erosion under the roads,” he added.
Several other roads in town that are maintained by the state and Thurston’s Bridge on South Rumford Road will be handled by the Maine Department of Transportation.
“A DOT representative contacted me about Thurston’s Bridge and said their engineers are working on a plan now to provide it with a wider platform and a better design,” Puiia said.
Replacing the bridge alone is expected to cost $500,000.
By Wednesday, Rumford Public Works crews had repaired damage from the two sinkholes on High Street, and graded the dirt and gravel fill flat. It has yet to be paved, however.
Other agenda topics to be discussed at Thursday night’s selectmen’s meeting include the fire building-construction grant, announcement of the winner of Rumford’s Citizen of the Year Award, and appointments to boards and committees.
Additional items include an update on Maine’s Project Canopy grant, approving a hawker’s and peddler’s license for Laurie’s Greenhouse, and a request from the Boy Scouts of America for a donation.
An executive session is also scheduled for discussion of a union contract matter with Puiia, the police and fire chiefs, Public Works superintendent and town attorney.
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Collapsed pavement from Saturday’s torrential rains and flash flooding revealed one of two sinkholes on High Street in Rumford. The damage was repaired by Wednesday, but not yet paved.

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