RUMFORD — Fifty people at Monday night’s annual town meeting approved all eight warrant articles, including a 10-year agreement with Med-Care Ambulance.

With little discussion, voters also approved articles on tax payments, the interest rate on unpaid taxes and other issues.

The ambulance contract will begin June 8, 2018.

Selectman James Windover made a motion to move the question to the June 13 referendum and Selectman Mark Belanger seconded it.

Resident Walter Buotte asked for an explanation.

Windover said that with the small turnout, he felt a 10-year agreement should go before more people.


Resident John Madigan said the ambulance service has “served us well over the years” and asked voters to reject the motion.

The motion was overwhelmingly defeated, with another motion made and approved to pass the article.

The remaining warrant articles, including charter amendments, budget items and ordinances, will be voted on at the polls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the American Legion Hall.

Near the end of the meeting, Buotte, a member of Protect Rumford Water Alliance, urged voters to reject an ordinance governing the large-scale extraction of groundwater by aquifer-dependent industries from aquifers in Rumford.

He said the ordinance is to facilitate a deal between the Rumford Water District and Nestle Waters North America, the parent of Poland Spring Water Co.

Poland Spring has proposed a 15- to 20-year contract to draw up to 150 million gallons a year from two new wells on district property off Route 5. In exchange, Poland Spring would pay the district more than $400,000 in annual lease and water payments.


The ordinance goes to voters June 13.

“It was written by pro-Nestle lawyers hired by the Water District,” Buotte said. “I doubt the trustees understand the implications.”

Buotte said the ordinance makes it easy for the town to be “ripped off.”

“At two-tenths of a penny per gallon, it’s a terrible deal for our community,” he said.

According to the ordinance, its purpose is “to protect the quality and quantity of ground water located wholly or partially in Rumford, to insure that any large-scale water extraction is subjected to prior review and approval … and generally to protect the health, safety and welfare of persons dependent upon such water supplies.

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