RUMFORD – During two ordinance hearings this month, selectmen approved placing six amendments before town meeting voters in June.
The first tweak involves the Finance Committee’s need for flexibility in scheduling its meetings.
Residents at the town meeting last year voted this down, but then they voted most articles down “without apparent reasoning,” Town Manager John Madigan told selectmen at the April 14 ordinance hearing, according to its draft minutes.
The Chapter 3 Finance Committee ordinance states that regular meetings of the committee shall be held at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building on the second Wednesday of April, July and January of each year.
Madigan said the committee would like some flexibility in the scheduling of its meetings on an as-needed basis.
Executive Secretary Terri Palmer said Wednesday that selectmen voted to change the ordinance to allow the Finance Committee to set its own meetings.
The second tweak involves the police and fire departments ordinance in Chapter 4. It was unanimously amended to address the residency of police and fire emergency personnel to come in line with the union contracts.
The third change involves the hawking and peddling ordinance in Chapter 15, Sections 1 and 1B.
Jennifer Kreckel, president of local economic development group Envision Rumford, proposed establishing a new category of “Festival Event License” to allow vendors to work under one hawker’s and peddler’s license through a 501(c)(3) qualified nonprofit organization for up to four events a year.
According to the meeting minutes, Kreckel said Envision Rumford is trying to promote the Rumford area with special events, specifically in the downtown area. She said there are many open spaces available for vendors, who are not able to pay the $25 one-day fee, plus $52 for advertising for a one-day event license.
She suggested that the Festival Event License could be charged a fee in accordance with the number of vendors that participate, such as $25 each, and the advertisement fee would be assumed by the licensee for vendors participating in the event.
Fee changes would then be made in the Schedule of License, Permit, Application and Other Fees by selectmen’s vote if residents vote in favor of the amendment.
Selectmen approved the change, voting 4-0.
The fourth change was a clarification to the sidewalks ordinance in Chapter 23, Section 2. Madigan said the change was needed to address the maintenance and repair of existing sidewalks so that it isn’t to be borne by abutters of existing sidewalks, as the ordinance seems to imply. That change also was unanimously approved.
The fifth amendment concerns the recall of elected officials in ordinance Chapter 36. Madigan told selectmen that in 2008, Rumford adopted Chapter 36B, Recall of Elected Officials.
However, he said it was recently discovered that the town had already adopted a Chapter 36B Conflict of Interest in 1998 that was apparently never included into the ordinances.
Madigan suggested renumbering the ordinances as changing Chapter 36B from Recall of Elected Officials to Conflict of Interest; changing Chapter 36C from Municipal Personnel Policy to Recall of Elected Officials; and making the new Chapter 36D the Municipal Personnel Policy. That was approved unanimously.
The last change concerns Chapter 43, the changeable message sign ordinance. Madigan said the location of the town’s electronic sign is referred to in the ordinance as located at the Oxford County ARC. However, that organization changed its business name.
He suggested changing the location reference to the actual physical location as designated by the street location of the sign at the corner of Hancock Street and Lincoln Avenue. The proposal was unanimously OK’d.
The board then voted 2-1 against approving Candice Casey’s request to repeal the wind energy ordinance in Chapter 33D. Selectman Brad Adley motioned to approve the request and voted for it; Selectmen Jolene Lovejoy and Greg Buccina voted against it.
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