RUMFORD — Road repairs, cemeteries and a fire alarm system for the Rumford Recreation Center are included in the $9.81 million municipal budget for 2020-21. It’s an overall increase of 4.25%.

The annual Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 6, in Muskie Auditorium at Mountain Valley High School. Voting on the warrant will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in Puiia Gymnasium at the high school.

“For the most part, the budgets stayed pretty close to where they’re at, with the exception of cost-of-living wage increases,” Town Manager Stacy Carter said earlier this month.  “It’s a pretty solid budget, to provide the services that we do, to increase the aesthetics and the safety of our highways and infrastructure, which will attract business. And the way to fix the budget is to increase our tax base.”

Carter said there is an emphasis on Public Works for the coming year.

“Last year, during a transition of leadership with the department, there were things that didn’t get done,” he said. “This year, we’re catching up and doing a lot of road maintenance in different areas and looking at our five-year plan and what it takes to fix the roads that are in need.”

Carter said Prospect Avenue, which is one of the worst, will be a major project next summer. It will be done n coordination with the Water District which needs to replace waterlines.


The avenue will be done in three sections over three years.

There’s also money in the budget for the Parks Department to address the many cemeteries the town manages.

“At this point, the town doesn’t really have a good grasp on the plotting of them,” Carter said. In one case, some land was given to the town for the Abbott Mills Cemetery, therefore money is budgeted for surveying and setting out plots to better understand those that are available to sell.

Initiated articles are up nearly 30% at $277,039. Most of that increase is a request by the Greater Rumford Community Center for $60,403 for a fire alarm system.

Another article asks voters to appropriate $8,500 for the Fourth of July fireworks display, which has been postponed until 2021 so that money will be carried forward, if approved.

Finance Director Deb Laurinaitis said the budget increase drops to 3.66% without the initiated articles.


One article is an advisory poll asking voters if they support the town creating a regional recreational center.

Regarding excise tax revenue, Carter said it doesn’t look like there will be a great loss in the projected amount. In April, it was surprisingly high, he said.

“We’ve already received as much as they had the previous year. So we’re in pretty good shape, for now. If it decreases significantly, they will have time to address that issue,” he said.

The town manager said Tax Collector Tom Bourret told him excise taxes are coming in at a high rate.

“That is good, because $500,000 of the excise tax goes towards permanent roads so we can do our projects,” he said.

Carter said he’s not concerned about the budget exceeding the LD 1 tax cap, even though there’s been talk that state revenue-sharing could go down significantly because of COVID-19.


“For this budget, we’re not affected at all because Rumford uses the revenue-sharing that they receive in the following fiscal year,” he said. “So we’ve already received our revenues from the state for this fiscal year.”

Board Chairman Chris Brennick said the town has never voted to override LD 1, which for Rumford is a property tax levy limit of $7.482 million.

Carter said there has been a lot of interest in land and buildings, even with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I  think we’ve really turned the corner as far as finally seeing some growth within town,” he said. “We have some solar array projects set up. The hotel, from its inception, has sparked a lot of interest in the downtown. Getting the downtown project completed will only enhance that interest. I really expect we’re going to have a good year this year and next year,” he said.

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