RUMFORD —  Selectmen will convene a special town meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, to consider placing a six-month moratorium on the sale and use of consumer fireworks.

The meeting will be held in Rumford Falls Auditorium. The board’s regular selectmen meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Initially, the moratorium proposal only covered the use of consumer fireworks. But Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen Thursday night that they had to include sales because it’s a land-use ordinance.

“So, it does restrict the ability of a business that wanted to come in and set up shop,” he said. “During the moratorium we cannot accept plans or approve permits (for fireworks stores). It would deter that at that point, unfortunately.”

Last year, Rumford selectmen drafted, and townspeople approved, a new ordinance that allows people to establish fireworks stores using a permitting process.

“Because that’s a land-use ordinance, it had to be contained in this moratorium,” Puiia said.

In other business, Rumford Public Library librarian Luke Sorensen said, “I’m happy to report that the library has experienced many positive changes lately.” It’s now open Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8 p.m. Previously, due to budget cuts, the library could only remain open one night a week.

The library continues to remain open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

“So it gives people in the community more time to access their library,” Sorensen said.

The hiring of part-time employee Tracy Daigle enabled Sorensen to increase library hours.

“Miss Daigle is already proving to be an invaluable addition to the library staff and I am thankful the library was able to hire her,” he said.

Sorensen then mentioned that the library will hold its annual Halloween event on Halloween Day, Wednesday, Oct. 31. To participate, patrons need to check something out of the library, such as a book or DVD, earning them a prize. Prizes are candy, a Halloween pencil, Halloween eraser or a Halloween sticker.

During the event, which is being held to encourage people to visit the library on Halloween, staff will wear costumes.

“So I hope that everyone comes to the library on Halloween,” Sorensen said.

He also said he is working with Puiia to get energy-efficient lighting installed in the library.

An economic development services presentation by Matthew Eddy was postponed to a future meeting, and the only other item on the agenda was tabled after a brief discussion.

That involved a request by Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde to eliminate nighttime voter registration hours that are required by a town ordinance.

Traditionally, however, the town hasn’t followed the ordinance, because it means they’d have to pay someone to return at night and reopen the building, Puiia said. “They do this during the day anyways and they offer it at the polls, as well.”

“Traditionally, do we get anybody that shows up?” Selectman Jolene Lovejoy asked.

“No,” Puiia said. That’s why he said it didn’t make sense to pay someone to sit there when many people wouldn’t even know the building was open for voter registration.

“If we never do it, then how do we know if anyone ever shows up?” Lovejoy asked.

Brad Adley said town officials haven’t offered nighttime voter registration in the past five years he has been a selectman.

To eliminate the ordinance requiring nighttime registration, selectmen must authorize that those hours be changed.

Lovejoy said it didn’t make any sense to her, but she’d support eliminating the nighttime hours.

Puiia, however, recommended that the board table the matter until more information could be provided at the board’s 7 p.m. meeting Oct. 18.

[email protected]


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.

filed under: