RUMFORD — Selectmen have agreed to move the annual town election and vote on budget articles from June 9 to July 14. Voting will be done at polling stations and coincide with the state primary election.

Non-budget articles on the annual meeting warrant will be voted on July 6, but by what method has not been decided.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said, “If we kept our election the same, we’d have to have one July 14 as well. I think it makes more sense to be on the same page and have it at the same time. I don’t know what the social distancing measures are going to look like in June.”

Selectman Frank DiConzo said he was concerned because Selectmen Jon Pepin and Mark Belanger have terms that expire June 9. Also, a month’s extension would leave the town without an approved budget.

Board Chairman Chris Brennick said the town charter indicates that a select board member will continue to serve until a successor has been elected and sworn in. As far as the budget, he believes Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order regarding the pandemic allows towns to use the equivalent of one-twelfth of this year’s budget to cover one month past the town’s fiscal year.

Carter said he ran the language in the charter by town attorney Jen Kreckel, who concurred the town can move the dates.

In other business at the April 16 meeting, selectmen approved two asphalt bids to Spencer Paving of Turner. One was for the Eaton Hill project for $101,390 and the other for all other streets for $537,542.

Public Works Superintendent Dale Roberts said the $638,932 will come from overlay, state aid for roads and the roads accounts.

Carter said that after a public hearing on the Rumford Fire Department temporarily suspending emergency medical services, selectmen voted 4-1 to resume services June 1. That could be amended if pandemic conditions do not improve. Belanger cast the dissenting vote.

On March 16, selectmen approved Fire Chief Reed’s recommendation that the department terminate its emergency medical services during the pandemic to prevent exposure to the coronavirus. Exceptions would be made for calls involving trauma and immediate life-threatening incidents.

The board voted 4-0 to approve the Hosmer Field contract with RSU 10 for the 2020-21 school year. RSU 10 will pay $30,000 for the use of the complex. Brennick abstained from voting.

Cable franchise fees paid to the town this year were $50,111. The Western Valley Access Channel, which had been filming meetings before the pandemic, will receive two-thirds, or $33,402. That leaves $16,704, some of which usually goes to the Fourth of July Committee for the fireworks display.

Carter indicated there has been a steady flow of tax payments in the mail and through the drop box since the Town Office closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“So the finances are looking fairly healthy,” he said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: