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Selectmen touch on many issues


by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
August 01, 2012
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen welcomed to the Belknap County Commissioners to its meeting on Monday, July 30.

The commissioners and the county administrator were there for a "county conversation," to give the town an update on the projects that commissioners have been working on.

The commissioners have visited every town in Belknap County this summer, and this is the fourth year of this program.

The commissioners have been working on eliminating overlapping positions within the county and have looked at options for regionalization.

They spoke about the process that Barnstead went through when looking to regionalize its police department, which the town ultimately voted down.

Edward Philpot, Jr. talked about the recent hiring by the county of a part-time juvenile prosecutor. He explained that this would allow some of the towns to forward cases involving juveniles to the prosecutor, which some towns have already started doing.

Philpot also talked about the relationship that the county has formed with the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy Center, which handled about 200 cases involving children in the Lakes Region this year.

Philpot also reported that county is working on developing a Capital Improvement Plan and is looking an options for building a new county jail.

Philpot talked about a visit to Sullivan County, where they put more emphasis on eliminating repeat offenders and explained that this would be one of the goals in constructing and designing a new county jail.

Philpot reported that the commissioners are working together with a jail planning committee and planning to work with a jail planning consultant on the project.

Philpot also reported that the county has upgraded its computer system.

Chairman Dave Hussey thanked the commissioners and the county administrator for visiting the selectmen and giving them an update.

The board then reconvened as the Board of Health and reviewed a pair of septic waivers requested by the Bradley Parker Trust.

Both waivers were made on small building lots at 191 and 195 East Side Drive.

John Dever, the code enforcement officer, explained that the new septic systems would be clean systems and that there wasn't really any other to put the systems.

The board unanimously approved both septic waivers, one for a three-bedroom house at 191 East Side Drive, and the other for a four-bedroom house at 195 East Side Drive.

Member Cydney Johnson reported that the first meeting of the Economic Development Committee will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall. Johnson encouraged anyone who has in interest in joining the committee to attend the meeting.

Russ Bailey, the town administrator, reported that a pair of firefighters will be honored with citations for saving a life during the Aug. 20 selectmen's meeting.

Bailey said that the town of Wakefield had requested that the town take part in an organization study. The board agreed to take part in the study, and as a benefit will be able to review the results of the study.

Member Peter Bolster talked about a recent $40,000 donation that the Pearson Road Senior and Community Center received from the Gilman Home.

Bolster said that nearly $80,000 has been raised through donations and warrant articles and that the Phase II renovation of the center, which will include a 36-by-36-foot addition will cost just over $100,000 to complete. According to Bolster, this project will include a new septic system and a basement.

Bailey and the selectmen talked about the recent issues at the traffic circle during the NASCAR race. Bailey said the town is looking to be reimbursed by the Loudon track for the extra police details needed.

Vice-chair Loring Carr suggested that if the track doesn't reimburse the town, then the town shouldn't provide police for the event, with the next race upcoming in September.

During public input, Ruth Arsenault asked for an update on the sidewalk reconstruction.

The board informed her that the town has received bids for the curbing and should be receiving asphalt and concrete bids in the near future. Arsenault suggested fixing the sidewalks in Alton Bay and not just putting down asphalt over old concrete when fixing the areas.

Bailey said that the sidewalk is in worse shape near TD Bank than it is down by Alton Bay.

The board approved the minutes of meetings held on June 18, June 20, July 27, July 5 and July 19.

Bailey informed the board that work on Rand Hill Road is going well. He said that plans to drop a pair of culverts in should be done soon and that the town would then move on to the work on Trask Side Road.

Bailey expected the money spent on road reconstruction to cross over $1 million once the Rand Hill Road project is complete, with more than $400,000 being spent on that project alone.

Hussey asked what extra cost and extra time spent on dealing with the waterlines on the Rand Hill Road project was. Bailey said he wasn't sure what the actual cost increase was because of the waterlines.

The board reviewed an amendment to the hawkers and vendors ordinance, which included the applicant making payment upon receipt of an application and the town processing the payment upon approval.

The board wanted to make this change because they recently had some vendors back out at the last minute and didn't collect the fees.

The board discussed the topic at length and agreed to table the issue and address during an upcoming workshop.

Bailey and Carr talked about the progress being made on the improvements to the Town Hall. A bid is going out for new windows, a new HVAC system, a roof vent, installing fans in the second story, trimwork and other work associated with the renovation.

Carr talked about the possibility of upgrading the lights to more efficient LED lights.

Bailey said the lights are more efficient, but the cost is much higher.

The board approved a bid for tree cutting on Trask Side Road by the Urban Tree Company at a cost of $11,520. The board also approved a bid for two catch basins at a cost of $478.83 per catch basin.

The board received one bid for work at the Alton Transfer Station and agreed to put the project back out to bid with a new due date of Aug. 16.

The board approved a pole petition by New Hampshire Electric Co-op on Chamberlain Road and reviewed a pole petition, which needed no action by the board, by a private citizen on Hidden Springs Road.

The board also approved installation of a "slow children" sign on Smith Point Road in West Alton.

The board also approved signing up for a landowner participation agreement with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The agreement will allow the town to receive different signs that can be put on conservation lands throughout the town, with no cost to the town.

The next scheduled meeting of the Alton Board of Selectmen is on Monday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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