RUMFORD — A representative from Healthy Maine Streets sought permission from selectmen Thursday night to use town property along the Androscoggin River in the downtown to create a fitness trail.

The board, however, suggested that Randall Smith and Envision Rumford instead meet with the Rumford Parks Department to have it design the trail.

Randall Smith, who co-owns Ink Plaza on Congress Street with his wife, Cherry Smith, said Healthy Maine Streets is a subprogram of local economic development group, Envision Rumford.

“We’re asking that the board grant us permission to use 10 parcels of 12 by 12 feet around the (downtown) island for a fitness trail and the locations for its equipment,” Smith said.

Equipment placed in concrete in these parcels would allow people using the trail to stop at the various places and do exercises, like stretching, at their leisure, he said.

The estimated cost to build the fitness stations is about $3,000, Smith said. That cost would be covered by donations and like funds from a variety of area organizations, such as Healthy Maine Communities and River Valley Healthy Communities.


Smith said they anticipate having volunteer labor to install the fitness stations.

“So, bottom line is we don’t anticipate any taxpayer money for this program at all,” he said.

Envision Rumford would be the “go-to” organization for the project.

Town Manager John Madigan said any time the town is involved in projects like this, it is exempt from any liabilities.

“My thoughts are this looks really good,” he said, “but once it’s installed, the Parks Department is probably going to be asked to maintain it.”

Madigan said the Parks Department will probably want to review the project anyway.


“It looks like a really great thing,” he said. “My other thought is down at Hosmer Field, you have that beautiful walking trail already down there and that might be another spot to have this thing. Those trails are already paved and in the woods.”

Madigan also said the board hasn’t had any chance to review a detailed layout of the project, because it was placed on the agenda quickly.

“But I don’t really know if there’s even enough land along the river for this,” he said. “I know we have Morency Park, but it seems to me a lot of that banking is pretty steep right there and not a whole lot of land to be able to do this. It may be though since you have five locations.”

“Yes,” Smith said.

Madigan said that originally, he thought the request was to have the town turn over these small plots of land and he didn’t think that was a good idea.

“The way to go is maybe bring the Parks Department in and see if there is any liability,” he said. “They may want to maintain them, so it might be something if you donated the money and the volunteer labor.”


Jennifer Kreckel, president of Envision Rumford, said they would definitely work with Mike Mills of the Parks Department while keeping it in town ownership.

“I think it would be really good for us to work with Mr. Mills in designing a fitness trail,” Kreckel said. Madigan agreed.

Kreckel said the group is seeking support from selectmen to go forward with the project and work with Mills to bring it to reality.

Selectman Frank DiConzo said the board didn’t need to make and approve a motion to do that. The other four selectmen agreed.

“Go for it,” DiConzo said. “Full steam ahead.”

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