RUMFORD — After considerable discussion Thursday night, selectmen voted 3-2 against taking $10,141 for the Fourth of July fireworks show from cable franchise fees. That vote effectively ended the town celebration.

Selectmen Brad Adley and Jeff Sterling voted in favor of Adley’s motion to take the money from the cable fees, as has been done in the past; Selectmen Greg Buccina, Jolene Lovejoy and Frank DiConzo voted against doing so.

For the past three years, Rumford has held a Fourth of July festival and provided a fireworks show lasting nearly 30 minutes. But the eight-person committee that planned those events decided after last year’s event it was time to take a break, former committee member Buccina said.

“It is a lot of work,” he said.

This time, though, there wasn’t much interest in re-forming the committee or planning for the event, because people who tried to were busy with other commitments and jobs.

On Thursday night, Fourth of July Committee member Kevin Saisi requested $10,141 from the cable franchise fees so Rumford could at least provide a fireworks show without accompanying festivities at Hosmer Field.


Saisi said he got prior permission from the Parks Commission and fire chief and said he and firefighter and resident Eric Giroux were trying to have the show. Because Hosmer Field is town property, selectmen would need to sign the paperwork, Saisi said.

Sterling, who Saisi said worked on the committee last year and was assisting Saisi and Giroux, said he had the fireworks contract from Atlas Pyro Vision Productions in hand.

He said the same fireworks contractor used last year gave the committee a $900 discount on the show. Sterling said that should the board decide to fund the fireworks show this year, it would cost less than last year’s $10,141.

“Since it is to be held on town property, the town is the agent so the customer can contract,” Sterling said.

In previous years, Town Manager Carlo Puiia would sign the contract and the River Valley Chamber of Commerce acted as the committee’s financial agent in the past, he said.

Sterling recommended that this year the town write the check for the entire amount and send it to Atlas rather than pay half now and half later.


When asked if the committee had done any fundraising, Saisi said neither he nor Giroux had any free time to do so.

Buccina said the chamber has a balance of $1,918 from last year’s event for the Fourth of July Committee. He wanted to give it to the committee to use for extra costs like hiring emergency responders, police and firefighters and bringing in portable toilets.

“When we did this (event) in the past, we did fundraising, but Kevin and Eric, they don’t have the time to do this,” Buccina said.

He stressed that $10,000 for fireworks isn’t going to be enough for the whole event and wanted the board to give the committee the $1,918.

Lovejoy appeared to be on board with the whole idea at first. She said that in the past, the town gave $20,000.

DiConzo suggested not providing a fireworks show this year. Instead, he said the committee should be reorganized and do the show next year.


“Not doing it is always an option, but the last three years, we started something,” Sterling said. “I think a lot of people have come to enjoy this. We’re the big kid on the block and sometimes you have to lead.”

Adley motioned to appropriate the $10,141 from cable franchise fees that selectmen manage.

Buccina asked for an addendum to the motion to have the chamber administer the money, saying he didn’t want the town held liable.

“If we’re going to do this, we have to do it right,” Buccina said.

Lovejoy then reconsidered.

“To have two people jump up at the last minute without a plan, this is the middle of April,” she said. “It is a lot of money.”

After more discussion, the board voted against Adley’s motion.

“While I am disappointed that we will not have fireworks this year, I am hoping that we can come together to build a festival in 2015 that will attract people back to the River Valley to celebrate Independence Day,” Saisi said after leaving the meeting.

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