This past winter, the Rumford Water District’s Board of Trustees drafted a charter to clarify and update the more than 100-year-old district charter. Those changes were discussed in open meetings of the district trustees and were submitted to the Maine Legislature, using the normal legislative process under Maine law.

The clarified charter does not expand the powers of the district or its trustees, nor does it provide new powers. The district “is authorized to take, hold, divert, use and distribute water for the purpose of supplying potable water for domestic, sanitary, commercial and municipal purposes.”

The district has long held that power. Indeed, in addition to its residential customers, the district has long provided water to numerous customers that use water for commercial purposes, including the Rumford Mill, Rumford Falls Hydro, Rumford Power, Rumford Hospital, the Rumford Community Home and Hannaford Supermarket.

Interestingly, most water districts in the state have the power in their charter to supply customers of their district for “commercial purposes.” Good examples are both the Andover and Bethel Water Districts.

The district’s primary goal is to provide its customers with a safe, reliable source of water. The district’s trustees will not enter into an agreement with any customer that would jeopardize that goal — that includes an agreement with Poland Spring.

Rumford Water District trustees James Thibodeau, Harrison Burns, Jolene Lovejoy

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