Over the course of two evenings for initiated articles, the nine-member Rumford Budget Committee approved all 19 agency requests, totalling $193,980.
Those initiated articles will be placed on the annual secret poll town meeting warrant on June 13 for voter approval. Rumford voters approved initiated articles totalling $190,350 in 2016.
The largest requests was $110,110 for the Greater Rumford Community Center.
Director Gary Dolloff said this request is down from $113,320 in 2016. “Our goal is to get the request under $100,000. We’re working towards that.”
He said the GRCC has had a successful year, with a variety of activities for youths and adults. Dolloff said donations are up as well.
Dolloff said the request includes the cost of summer programs. “We’re looking at the cost of getting the pool (at Black Mountain) in shape for swim lessons.”
Black Mountain of Maine requested $25,000, the same amount as in 2016.
The Hope Association requested $10,000. Executive Director Catherine Johnson said this request is $2,000 more than last year, with that increase to go into the new greenhouse. She said Hope employes 97 people, serving 144 clients.
Other requests were as follows:
$3,500 for the River Valley Chamber of Commerce; $2,500 for the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition; $3,500 for Oxford County Mental Health; $600 by the American Legion for two Boys’ State delegates; $5,000 for Seniors Plus; $3,200 for
Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice; $500 to River Valley Animal Advocates; $6,000 to Greater Rumford Senior Citizens;
$750 to Sexual Assault Prevention and Response SVCS; $3,000 to Community Concepts; $4,000 to Safe Voices; $320 to American Legion for one Girls’ State delegate; $6,000 to Rumford Group Homes; $5,000 to Tri-County Mental Health; $2,000 to Community Dental.
The last agency request was $3,000 for the American Red Cross. That request was close to not being approved because a representative failed to show. Past practice was that an agency representative had to be present to answer questions from the Budget Committee.
Committee member Jon Starr said he understood past practice, but said it was hard to agree in this case.
Acting Chair Dick Lovejoy said if an agency requests money from the town, they should have someone represent them.
Committee member Rick Greene said this area has had a number of fires and the Red Cross is an “important resource for our community.”
The time spent on the debate paid off as Red Cross Executive Director Caroline King made her way into the Rumford Falls
Auditorum. She said she was late because they had been dispatched to home where there had been a fire.
King said the Red Cross assisted nine people in Rumford during the past year.
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