RUMFORD — Don’t be alarmed at the green glow coming from the Municipal Building clock next month.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and selectmen approved a request Thursday night from the Mountain Valley Lyme Disease Awareness Coalition to light Rumford’s clock tower green for the month.

In an April 10 letter to Town Manager John Madigan and selectmen, Diane Farnum, a Lyme disease survivor and co-founder of the coalition, asked if the coalition could buy a green light bulb for the town to install in the clock tower.

Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina read Farnum’s letter into record, saying that the coalition has been approaching area towns to ask permission to display ribbons and banners in prominent places.

Farnum said Lyme disease is rampant in Maine and that the Maine Centers for Disease Control recognized 1,139 new cases last year in its 2014 Legislative Report.

“Although they acknowledged that the actual number may be 10 times that,” she wrote. “Maine has the second highest per capita rate of Lyme disease in the country.”


In the letter, Farnum asked the board and Madigan to “please help us bring awareness to Lyme disease locally and show your support for those of us who suffer by allowing us to light the clock green.”

“I think this is a wonderful idea,” Selectman Jolene Lovejoy said Thursday night. “I think we just need to look into the clock tower up there. I know that’s a very temperamental piece of equipment.”

Madigan said the clock is lit by only one light bulb that isn’t attached to the clock machinery. It shines through each of the four clock faces.

Lovejoy motioned for Madigan to work with Farnum to get a green bulb installed in the clock tower. Selectman Frank DiConzo seconded it.

Resident Kevin Saisi said the clock light is a 300-watt bulb.

“It may be easier and more cost effective to put some sort of green cellophane over or around the existing bulb rather than buying a 300-watt green light bulb,” he said.

Selectmen then voted 5-0 approving Lovejoy’s motion.

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