RUMFORD — Following a number of closed-door meetings, the Board of Selectmen on Nov. 5 approved a $100,000 loan to a business for a bottling plant.

The board voted 4-0 to approve an Urban Development Action Grant loan agreement of $100,000 for economic development to Moontide Springs Inc. and Jean Castonguay. The loan is for three years at 4 percent annual interest, compounded monthly and payable quarterly. The first payment is due March 5, 2016, with the security property owned by Jean Castonguay in Dixfield, contingent on the bottling operation being in Rumford.

“We are very excited about this,” Town Manager John Madigan said. “The board is. It could start up very quickly. It looks like a really good deal for the town, with a number of jobs. The town is real happy to be able to help get a business started that could be a real good thing for the River Valley.”

The money is from an original Urban Development Action Grant in the early 1980s. The town has since used this as a revolving loan fund. Madigan said every recipient but one has repaid loans, usually at 4 percent interest.

He said the fund has about $170,000 in it.

“The potential is there for the fund to be there indefinitely and grow, little by little, with the interest, so that there’s always that kind of money available to help small businesses,” he said.

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Selectmen also approved the option agreement for the purchase of land in the Puiia Business Park to Northern LNG LLC.

Madigan said it’s a five-year option for 18 lots, which is all of the park except for the land above the powerline and the land below, which the town is retaining for a holding pond.

He said the price to exercise the option is $250,000.

In July, an unnamed developer said they have plans for a large processing facility in the town business park, which would create about 150 construction jobs and about 20 long-term jobs.

The name of the company and the nature of the plant were not revealed.

The business has “a track record of good historical investment in the state of Maine on a large scale,” the developer said.

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Jim Rinaldo of the River Valley Growth Council, who does economic development work in the area, said there have been a lot of coordinated efforts at the state level with this business.

“We’ve worked very hard to keep it quiet,” he said.

The developer said the company chose Rumford because of its high-voltage transmission lines, its natural gas pipeline, available land and a reasonable tax base.

Rinaldo said he first became aware of the project after Brian Doyle from Gov. Paul LePage’s office contacted him regarding some 70 acres on which the company had an option.

Doyle is a business development specialist for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Rumford Town Manager John Madigan said the Board of Selectmen has met for about a year with the developer regarding several parcels in the Puiia Business Park.

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“No details have been finalized,” he said. “We want to work with them. Not a lot of people have been banging down our door.”

The road is partially built. The developer is interested in the lots closest to the power plant.

Discussing the premise of the project, the developer said Maine approved $75 million per year for 20 years to create a $1.5 billion fund for services that would reduce natural gas costs and increase natural gas supply in the state.

“We’re trying to change legislation to allow us to get an award through the Energy Cost Reduction Act to be able to build this facility and provide the service back to the state of Maine,” the developer said.

“It’s the only facility of this type that’s being planned for the state and the only facility, to our knowledge, that’s trying to get (Energy Cost Reduction Act) funds for this purpose,” he said.

“We’re getting pretty close, and it’s a good project,” the developer said. He also noted, “Without (Energy Cost Reduction Act) funds, we probably won’t build the facility. The reason for saying this is that it puts the state on the spot.”

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