RUMFORD — Following the flooding in the Hosmer Field Complex on Dec. 18, the Select Board voted Thursday to build a new Parks & Recreation office, and a two-bay garage out of the flood plain and onto higher ground.

Town Manager Stacy Carter said the buildings will be constructed on a town-owned lot located between Hosmer Lane and Waldo Street. Already on that lot is a brown garage, where they have some equipment stored. There will be some parking there as well.

Parks Superintendent Marcus Palmer said, “Even before this flood, we’d had been a little bit of talk about building something up on the road, because the building we were in is deteriorating, and has been for quite some time.”

Carter said the hope is much of the cost will paid for by a combination of money from flood insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He added the town had already some money set aside to upgrade the Parks & Rec office.

The vote for the project was approved 4-0. Board member Jim Theriault was absent.

Palmer said the rainstorm caused about a combined $2 million in damage to the Hosmer Field Complex and equipment for the department. That included a pickup that was totalled, but will remain with the town, to be used for parts.


Debris is covered in snow Jan. 3 outside the Rumford Parks and Recreation garage on Lincoln Ave. in Rumford. The Dec. 18 storm that dumped 5.1 inches of rain on the area caused about $2 million in damage to the Hosmer Field Complex and parks equipment when the Swift River overflowed its banks, Superintendent Marcus Palmer said. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

“We lost pretty much everything,” he said. “Might be able to salvage a little here, a little there. But anything of significance is gone.”

Public Works Superintendent Dale Roberts said it required 540 yards of gravel to fill a gaping hole in front of the equipment building, located near the Parks office.

One of the department’s two large mowers was in the equipment garage beside the office, where everything was lost and there was 6 inches of mud.

Under the town’s insurance, the Parks Department has flood insurance on the office, the garage, equipment and the snack shack.

Tallying up the damage, Palmer said 95% of the fencing was uprooted and twisted and will cost over $400,000 to replace.

He said he called officials at Regional School Unit 10 that contracts to use park fields and there will be no spring sports at the complex and maybe fall ones, depending on what insurance covers and how fast repairs can be done.

Palmer said he doesn’t know how the damage will affect a half-million dollar project to install a canopy over the 200- by 50-foot hockey rink. It had been expect to start in the spring, but he’s thinking that now, it won’t be until 2025. That long-awaited project was made possible by a $251,000 matching grant from the federal Land & Water Conservation Fund, which is administered by the Bureau of Parks and Lands in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Palmer said they have until 2026 to use the grant. “For now, our focus is going to have to be on cleanup and restoring what we had,” he said.

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