RUMFORD — Selectmen will hold an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, on their third attempt to get voters to accept the proposed 2010-11 welfare budget.

Thirty minutes prior to this meeting in Rumford Falls Auditorium, the board will approve the warrant for the special secret poll meeting to determine the welfare budget and 2010-11 funding for Black Mountain ski resort.

Secret poll balloting will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, in the auditorium.

Article 1 asks if the town will raise and appropriate $35,000 for the welfare budget, and Article 2 asks if the town will raise and appropriate $51,000 for the initiated article request for the Rumford ski hill.

The board’s first attempt to get voters to accept its proposed $70,021 welfare budget failed during town meeting balloting on June 8 by a tally of 965-727. Selectmen pared that to $60,000 last month and tried again on July 13, but it, too, was defeated by a tally of 190-115.

At the board’s July 22 meeting, they voted to fund and operate the Welfare Department budget with $35,000, of which, $25,000 is for assistance, $10,000 is wages for a welfare director, and $5,000 is Mexico’s reimbursement for having Rumford’s director handle their General Assistance program.

Should voters again defeat the proposal, selectmen will keep repeating it until it is passed in some amount, because state law requires towns to have welfare budgets.

Like the initial welfare budget proposal, Black Mountain’s initiated article request of $56,700 was also defeated at the June 8 town meeting polls, albeit in a different manner.

The selectmen’s recommendation of $56,700 received 420 votes, the Finance Committee’s recommendation of $51,000 got 637 votes, and the zero funding amount got 657 votes. Since the higher tally was for zero funding, that’s what happened.

Ski area officials, however, maintain that more people voted to fund Black Mountain than those who didn’t want to give it any money, but they couldn’t agree on the amount.

Black Mountain asked selectmen to convene a special town meeting to re-vote the matter, but selectmen declined, saying the legally required “critical circumstance” did not exist.

The ski hill then petitioned for the special town meeting re-vote with 25 signatures, but, it, too was denied by the board for the same reason, although resort officials said that without the funding, Black Mountain would close.

That forced Black Mountain to collect about 500 signatures to sidestep selectmen and force a re-vote, which they did, Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde confirmed on Wednesday morning.

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