RUMFORD — Town law forced selectmen to deny a request Thursday night by police Chief Stacy Carter to apply for an estimated $200,000 federal grant.

If the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the grant to Carter, the money would have allowed the chief to hire a new police officer, for whom the grant would pay three years of salary and benefits. The town’s match would be to pick up the fourth year.

During a break in Thursday night’s meeting, Chairman Brad Adley said Rumford’s charter states that selectmen can’t enter into an agreement that would bind the next Board of Selectmen.

In this case, it’s a multiyear grant. Adley said town lawyer Thomas Carey advised them of the charter issue.

“It’s sad, but true,” said Adley, who wanted to give Carter the go-ahead.

At the board’s May 5 meeting, selectmen discussed the request at length before tabling it to Thursday’s agenda.

At that meeting, Carter said he would use the new officer to reduce overtime for those three years and guaranteed Selectman Greg Buccina that the savings would then be used to fund the fourth year, so taxpayers wouldn’t be affected.

In other business, selectmen changed their June 2 meeting to June 6 because Adley and Selectman Jeff Sterling have sons graduating from Mountain Valley High School on the night of June 2 and other board members had other commitments.

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