RUMFORD — Voters at Tuesday’s town meeting will consider whether to replace the 35-year-old running track at Hosmer Field and whether to replace the lighting around the track and football field with more efficient LED lighting.

The third nonbinding referendum question asks voters to restore public access to the areas surrounding Rumford Falls with the intent of creating a public recreational trail system.

Rumford Parks Superintendent Mike Mills estimated the cost of replacing the running track to be between $110,000 and $195,000; replacing the lights would cost between $170,000 and $210,000.

He said the track, which has not been resurfaced since it was done in 1980, is no longer hosting high school track meets because of the disintegration of the surface.

Mills said the lights went out three times last fall during games.

Selectmen suggested that if voters support doing this, fundraising events will likely have to be held to help raise money for the project.

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“These are expensive,” Mills said. “I did talk to the school about it and they’re not willing to help us because they don’t have the money. That’s why the (Parks) board and myself came to a decision to see if the taxpayers of Rumford wanted to do this. If they don’t, I don’t have a problem with it. We’ll just go back and play football on Saturday and fix the track up so people can walk on it.”

Several citizen organizations and local business leaders are working toward the creation of a public recreational trail system in the areas surrounding Rumford Falls. This will require working with the current property owner, Brookfield Renewable Energy, to restore public access to these areas. All involved in this effort wish to know whether Rumford voters support this action.

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The Rumford town meeting warrant is available for viewing online at rumfordme.org. Copies are available at the town clerk’s office.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Rumford American Legion Hall for town elections.


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