RUMFORD — The Sidewalk Committee met with a Livermore Falls firm and its Yarmouth design team Thursday evening at the Rumford Auditorium to discuss a proposal to engineer plans to revitalize the downtown and reconstruct sidewalks.

Selectmen voted 3-1 in 2014 to forgo a bid process and hire Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. of Livermore Falls and their design team, Terrence J. DeWan and Associates of Yarmouth.

The first phase of their plan consisted of concept-level base mapping, aerial photos and the creation of a master plan of the downtown sidewalks for an estimated $11,500.

The second phase consisted of base mapping, design development, construction documents, layout and administration at client direction for an estimated $30,400.

Jennifer Kreckel, president of local economic development group Envision Rumford!, said that the town’s Sidewalk Committee met Thursday evening with Keith Smith of Terrence J. DeWan and Associates and Robert Berry of Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. to discuss a list of proposed downtown sidewalk improvements.

“I think the meeting went fairly well,” Kreckel said Monday. “They brought a mock-up of what sorts of changes we could make to the sidewalks in the downtown area. I think we’ve reached a crossroads where we can invest in the town’s future by taking charge of redeveloping the downtown and making it a more desirable area to relocate into.”

Kreckel said the Sidewalk Committee would attempt to finalize a plan to present to the selectmen.

“Any proposal needs to be voted on in a timely manner,” Kreckel said. “This decision impacts the next 30 to 50 years of the town. We want to do it the right way, because a lot of our town’s finances would be involved.”

Kreckel said that during Thursday’s Sidewalk Committee meeting, Smith and Berry said that the sidewalks in downtown Rumford were constructed during the late 1970s or early 1980s.

“The engineer for the project said that if we do this correctly, and take good care of the sidewalks once they’re installed, they should last us for up to 50 years,” Kreckel said. “Technology has improved over the last ten years, so the quality of the sidewalks would be improved as well.”

Among the ideas presented in the list of sidewalk improvements included:

* Adding new sidewalk patterns with gray concrete and color paving bands.

* Constructing a formalized parking area and new sidewalks at the American Legion and along Lowell Street.

* Constructing an improved intersection at Congress and Portland streets with crosswalks, improved sidewalks and reduced curb openings.

* Constructing a new sidewalk along Portland Street at Rite Aid.

* Reducing driveway width, adding green space and improving sidewalks at Franklin Savings Bank and the fire station along River Street.

* Constructing a new concrete sidewalk along River Street to replace the existing asphalt sidewalk.

* Improving pedestrian and vehicular movement at the intersection of Railroad and Canal streets by reducing pavement and curb openings and adding crosswalks and green space.

Kreckel said the committee was hoping to “achieve a period look for the town by choosing certain signs and light fixtures,” along with trees, benches and bike racks.

“Rumford has beautiful buildings, and we have the potential for them to be restored,” Kreckel said. “We hope that if we invest the money and effort into this project, the building owners will also take that to heart.

“This is a pivotal point for the town,” Kreckel said. “It’s a way to get people interested in coming to our town, and a way to help our merchants that have been struggling here for so long. They’ve all been doing their best to make things attractive, and this is a way the town can help.”

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