RUMFORD — The Board of Selectmen has rescheduled a special meeting to take action on a water petition. It will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Rumford Falls Auditorium, according to board Chairman Jeff Sterling.

It was originally set for Tuesday but postponed because of the Nor’easter.

Len Greaney of Protect Rumford Water Alliance presented selectmen Thursday with a citizen petition with 28 signatures, requesting a special town meeting for a moratorium on large-volume water extraction in Rumford.

Sterling said the signatures were verified by Town Clerk Beth Bellegarde, with a copy of the petition presented for legal review by Kendall A. Ricker of Boothby Perry LLC of Turner.

This is the second petition on this matter submitted to selectmen. The first petition was denied 3-2 on Jan. 10.

The current petition states a possible additional large-scale water extraction from the Ellis River Aquifer may place in peril:

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• The aquifer itself;

• Private wells and water bodies near the proposed extraction line;

• The preservation of the public trust;

• The peace and quality of life of those affected by constant tanker traffic; and

• The goals of the town’s Comprehensive Plan concerning the protection of the Ellis River Aquifer.

The conclusion of petitioners is that this constitutes a critical circumstance, and therefore, a request is made for selectmen to schedule a special town meeting to discuss and vote on a 180-day moratorium on any large-volume water extraction by any company, individual or municipality, for the purpose of reselling the water as “bottled drinking water” or to be resold for consumption or other use outside the town of Rumford.

According to the petition, a moratorium would allow time to draft and create public support for a Land Use Ordinance to better define and regular the large-scale extraction of water within Rumford, and to bring the ordinance to town officials and voters for consideration.

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