Bucksport, Lincoln, East Millinocket, Millinocket, Old Town, Otis in Jay, Eastern Fine in Brewer, Pine State in Lisbon — mills shut down and jobs gone, some 120 jobs in Rumford, 300 at Verso in Jay.

Company officials all cited the same reason — foreign competition and high taxes.

Sure, it is nice that Rumford gets a new police car every year; great that the town has more equipment than is needed in the Highway Department. It is nice that all town employees get pay raises and great benefits. But when are the taxpayers and the property owners going to get a break?

Since the year 2000, the town’s population has dropped by 1,500 people (U.S. Census). The town’s valuation has dropped by one-third and, just as important, the mill population went from around 1,000 workers in 2000 to less then 600 now.

To be informed, Rumford residents should look up similar towns and their operating budgets.

I have to ask — why does a town of about 5,000 people have a operating budget of $8.1 million (that is a big number)? I would also ask why no businesses are coming to town?

For example, name a car parts store in Rumford — they are all in Mexico. Why? I think that it might be because of a lower tax base.

I hope other Rumford residents think about it — think about that $8.1 million.

Edward Perry, Rumford


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