BETHEL — Newry resident Jim Largess told the Bethel Board of Selectmen on Monday he hopes to display flags on utility poles this winter to recognize six students for academic excellence.

Largess was at Monday night’s meeting on behalf of the River Fund, a nonprofit organization whose primary goal is creating educational and recreational opportunities and experiences for youth in and around Oxford County.

Largess said he is executive director of the River Fund, founded in 2018.

“The River Fund is about the whole community. We want to celebrate our kids achievements,” Largess said. “It’s creating a presence in this town that says we care about our kids. Parents and kids will both be proud.”

Code Enforcement Officer Toby Walker said displaying the flags would violate the town’s sign ordinance, which does not allow anything to be attached to utility poles.

Selectman Pete Southam suggested recognizing students in a different way. He said the local movie theater could list the students’ names prior to movies’ opening credits or the new bowling center, River Lanes, could list the students’ names on one of its screens.

“I think there are a lot of places that could get that message out, outside of doing flags,” Southam said.

Largess said he plans to return to the board with other options at a future meeting.


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