A Town with a Mill


Many folks who travel the east/west northern corridor of Route 2 note that they are passing through towns with a type of rural charm tailor-made for a sentimental hallmark movie.

That’s not just a turn of phrase for Rumford, ME whose local St. Barnabus Episcopal church was in fact used for the exteriors of a hallmark movie.

But as we’ve spoken time and again on the ‘Are We Here Yet?’ podcast, gimmicks don’t make for meaningful change in our urban or rural communities where real bottom-up economic development is required.

For three years our guest George O’Keefe has been aggressively implementing a plan with real meat on the bones which the people of Rumford have responded to with vigor.

Rumford, in George’s words is a town with a mill, not a milltown. (We should interject here and mention the paper mill is, in fact, still active and employing folks).  So as to say there’s more diversity in Rumford’s modern economy.   George’s consistent and honest approach has born fruit for this town of  nearly 6,000.

Find out more about Rumford, ME

His plan has included a consistent implementation to broaden Rumford’s renewable energy portfolio.  The double positive here has been to produce clean and plentiful energy for existing and new takers while building a robust tax base.

Renewables are just one strategic part of this community’s plan.  The results speak for themselves.  Rumford in currently improving one neighborhood by adding a new fire department facility, building a new school and attracting attention.  Lots of attention from New Englanders and others heading north for new opportunity.

Listen for our discussion on the local housing market, where new business opportunities exist and much more in our latest episode of SMG’s ‘Are We Here Yet?’ podcast.

Downtown Rumford, ME Photo by Scott M. Graves
Downtown Rumford, ME Photo by Scott M. Graves

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