I believe the residents of Rumford should agree to contract with Poland Spring. The Water District could receive approximately $400,000 in annual lease payments.

A member of the Rumford Water Alliance said that if the Water District raised the rate to $63 per quarter, the district would receive $350,000 yearly, negating the need to accept the Nestle deal.

But A.E. Hodsdon gave an estimate that the Rumford Water District could spend close to $8.1 million through the next decade replacing old, pre-1940 water mains. The downtown project will cost the Water District close to $1 million for new water mains and piping. The other proposed projects in the near future include $250,000 for the Falls Hill booster station, High Bridge water main and to replace Swift River Bridge water main.

The Water District, with 1,600 customers, will not be able to support those future projects with the high tax rate in Rumford. The town would increase the tax rate and every taxpayer in town would be paying for the Water District’s future projects.

The Rumford area is known to be not business friendly. Poland Spring might well move northerly, into Andover, and find plenty of areas along Ellis River to install new wells. The small town of Andover would benefit with the yearly lease payments to support their school system.

Richard McInnis, Rumford

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