RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to place a request on the annual town meeting warrant to lease town land for the development of a zip line park.

The question will appear as Article 9 at the annual business meeting and public hearing June 1.

Town Manager John Madigan said he and the Board of Selectmen had been meeting with zip line developers to discuss leasing three parcels of land along the Androscoggin riverbank so Wow Za Zip Lines can build a zip line park.

The lots are on a parcel north of Morency Park on the east side of the Androscoggin River, a parcel across from Rite Aid, and a parcel near the town’s snow dump on Rumford Avenue.

The lease would be “based on terms and conditions decided by the Board of Selectmen,” Madigan said, adding that the zip line developers would be responsible for keeping a “decommissioning fund” and would “restore the area to its previous conditions” after the lease ends.

The vote will be the second time in two years residents have faced a zip line question at the annual town meeting. In 2013, they voted against a series of articles that would have allowed the town to sell two lots along the Androscoggin River, including a parcel behind the Rumford Public Library, and a right of way easement across a third lot to a zip line park developer for $1 each.


Madigan said the town “needs to be sure that the request won’t have a negative impact on our use of the snow dump.”

Public Works foreman Andy Russell said any concerns he had about the parcels the zip line developers are seeking were addressed.

“One of my concerns was whether the landing area across the river would take up too much space in the snow dump,” Russell said. “ I talked with the developers about that fact, and they were happy to help by adjusting the placement of the landing pad.”

After Selectman Frank DiConzo made a motion to place the article on the town meeting warrant, several residents gave their opinions about the zip line, with many in favor of the zip line but frustrated with the way it’s being presented to people.

One resident expressed her frustration that Monday evening’s public hearing was not publicized early enough, meaning a lot of residents would have no idea about the zip line article.

Madigan said the board received the request to place the article on the warrant “last week,” and that it was the only opportunity that the board had to get the article on the warrant this year.

Chairman Greg Buccina said “time is not always in our favor,” and that “in respect to the developer’s proposal, we decided that we needed to act quickly rather wait until next year.”

Jim Rinaldo, a member of the River Valley Growth Council and Envision! Rumford, said the zip line would “take off around Hartford Street, go down the river over the little falls,” continue under Memorial Bridge and “end at the snow dump.”

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