MEXICO — About 420 residents will
find a one-page survey in their mailboxes this week asking for
information on family income, family make-up and race.

The survey information, distributed by
the town, is crucial to determining whether the River Valley
Technology Center in Rumford can be reclassified as a community
service facility from its current economic development/job creation
status. That would mean Mexico could
again pursue federal Community Development Block Grants to
improve infrastructure and other municipal upgrades.

Responses to the postage-paid survey
will be sent directly to the Androscoggin Valley Council of
Governments in Auburn for review and assessment. All replies are
confidential, Town Manager John Madigan said.

The results are expected sometime in
late August.

Madigan said federal criteria for the
reclassification requires 51 percent of the town’s residents
to fall into low or moderate income levels. The town must prove to the
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development that the
people benefiting from such grants meet low or moderate income
levels, Madigan said in an introductory letter to survey recipients.

The successful reclassification will
close out a 2003, $400,000 Community Development Block Grant that was
used to help fund the development of the River Valley Technology

Since the inception of the technology
center in 2004, at least 40 jobs have been created, as required by
the original grant, but not all have met the federal income
guidelines. Also, the center has been slowly transformed into a
service center that houses the Community Dental Clinic, Maine
CareerCenter and several other service-oriented tenants.

“The main thing is to show
eligibility,” Madigan said. “If the income levels are town-wide,
it opens the door to future CDBG grants.”

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