RUMFORD — Excitement continues to build for members of the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival Zip Line Committee as plans are being finalized.

Pending state fire marshal approval, the May 4 debut celebration will feature dual 600-foot-long zip lines that will carry riders over the Androscoggin River from upper River Street near Memorial Bridge to the town snow dump lot.

The committee and festival are connected to Envision Rumford, a local economic development group trying to attract people into and grow business in the downtown area.

At Thursday night’s selectmen meeting, the board unanimously approved Envision Rumford’s request to use town property for the zip line. The board agreed to close the parking area spots on upper River Street near the bridge and across from Rite Aid on May 2, 3, and 4.

Envision Rumford member Jim Rinaldo said they needed the section closed for those three days so that Envision Rumford engineer and Zip Line Committee member Jim Sysko of Newry could install the two zip lines on May 2.

Rinaldo said Sysko wants to drill into a huge boulder 100 feet from the river bank to set the landing zone anchor on the snow dump lot side of the river. He also plans to use a logging skidder to anchor the launch site cable beside the bridge.

Then on May 3, an official with the state fire marshal’s office must inspect the project before approving it, Rinaldo said. Subject to that approval, the zip line will be operated from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 4.

When asked by Selectman Brad Adley how they intended to get the zip lines over the river, Rinaldo said they would use something similar to a bow and arrow to shoot a line across the river. Then with the line tied to the zip line cables, they would just haul them into place.

To Adley’s other question about how to get the riders to the street from the riverbank, Rinaldo said he has contacted area all-terrain vehicle clubs.

The plan is to have the ATV riders carry people and the zip line harnesses up from the river bank to the street, where a bus or van will return them to the launch point.

“Any downside here, Carlo?” Adley asked of Town Manager Carlo Puiia.

“They would have to provide an insurance policy with the town set as an additional insurer,” Puiia said.

Rinaldo, however, said Envision Rumford will partner with Monkey C Monkey Do to sponsor the Paul Bunyan festival zip line and use their insurance company.

Monkey C Monkey Do bills itself as Maine’s first high-flying family adventure park with zip lines. It is located at 698 Bath Road (Route 1) in Wiscasset.

Rinaldo said Envision Rumford will pay the Wiscassett company a stipend for use of their insurance.

“They will also be bringing two people who are qualified to run zip lines, one for the top and one for the bottom,” he said. “Because of their insurance, they have to have qualified people running the zip lines.”

The May 4 zip lines will have an approximate 50-foot drop in elevation, Thomas Carey, a Rumford attorney and member of Envision Rumford and its Zip Line Committee, stated early Thursday evening in a news release.

“Riders will be about 60 feet above the water level, but that depends on the height of the river at that time of year,” Carey said. “With spring runoff, the water can be raging, making the ride even more thrilling.”

Carey said the Paul Bunyan festival zip lines “will be a good prelude to our Phase One zip lines project to have a launch point upriver under the Memorial Bridge to a landing point proximate to the same landing area.”

“This will provide an opportunity for the public to not only ride a short but thrilling zip line, but will also showcase the excitement and business generated from zip line enthusiasts,” Carey said.

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